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Labour Minister Mildred Olifant. File Pic GCIS

Trade Union disrupts Wage Bill meeting

Portfolio Committee on Labour says the alleged conduct of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) activists who tried to disturb a council meeting intended to discuss the National Minimum Wage Bill is wrong.

Chairperson of the Committee Sharome van Schalkwyk said the episode was terrible and does not address how South Africans settle differences of opinion.

“The Committee won’t allow the group to disrupt an attempt to improve the conditions of many our poor working South Africans. The procedures on the National Minimum Wage are unfolding, and this drastic and disorganised position isn’t justified, “said Van Schalkwyk said.

This follows allegations on Wednesday that a handful group of activists wearing Saftu formal attire upset the Committee on Labour’s gathering that tried to deliberate on the revised version of the National Minimum Wage Bill.

“Parliament is a place for influence and engagement, henceforth the Committee has embraced on listening to all partners even after the due date of its procedures regarding oral submissions,” she said.

Van Schalkwyk said the Committee acknowledged that activists may protest, however that privilege ought not to meddle with work of Parliament, and those of other people.

“There will still be an opportunity to engage with the Bill amid the National Council of Provinces’ processes. Members ought to carry out their duties without the deterrent,” she said.

The curtain on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) roadshows aimed at employers concentrating on exemption ended in North West this week with the Department of Labour urging businesses to familiarise it’s with regulations governing the Bill.

Chief of Employment Standards in the Department, Stephen Rathai dwelt at length about section 15 and 16 of the NMW.

Section 15 says an employer or an employers’ organisation acting on behalf of its members may apply for an exemption in the prescribed manner.

“We know that come implementation time of the NMW, some employers may need exemptions or flexibility”, Rathai said

‘’Regulations give you procedures when applying for the exemption or distressed’’, he said.

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