Unions are failing workers, says minister Mildred Oliphant
She has called on Cosatu to get its house in order and train shop stewards on all labour laws
Labour unions are negotiating for conditions that are less favourable for workers than what is contained in the Labour Relations Act (LRA), labour minister Mildred Oliphant said in Wednesday. Speaking at the Cosatu national congress, Oliphant called on the federation to get its house in order by training shop stewards on all labour laws. More than 1.6-million workers rely on Cosatu affiliates for workplace protections and collective bargaining representation for wage agreements and other conditions of work. Cosatu has admitted in its discussion documents to its congress that its affiliates’ shop stewards lacked basic understanding of some of the country’s key labour legislations, including the LRA, as well as those of the companies where they organise. "The classical case is one collective agreement where the unions have agreed to give the employers at least 30 days’ notice instead of the 48-hours’ notice prescribed in the LRA of their intention to go out on strike," Oliphant said. ...