LETTER: Bargaining council puts workers out of jobs
Building contractors are cutting their teams just to be able to compete on price because of high social benefit rates
I have a small business that does home maintenance. I am forced to belong to the Building Industry Bargaining Council (BIBC) in the Western Cape. You have to buy social benefits at very high rates — R78 per day per labourer. But the market is tough, and I have to compete with illegal operators who are not registered and charge very low rates.
There is no real benefit for workers in the long run. Contractors are making their teams smaller and smaller just to be able to compete on price, and a lot of workers are losing their jobs as a result — you see them standing at the roadside every morning begging for work.
I and other legitimate contractors I know want to employ more people, but at these rates we cannot afford it. In the Overberg area alone I believe there are 600 summonses out on contractors who owe a total of R30m to the BIBC. How many more jobs are going to be lost before things change?
The only thing the people who run the bargaining councils think of is retaining the cushy positions they have created for themselves.
Dirk van Rooyen
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