SABC News - Govt has no authority to enter wage talks: Labour dept:Tuesday 20 May 2014

Govt has no authority to enter wage talks: Labour dept

Tuesday 20 May 2014 08:20

SABC

The striking workers are demanding a basic monthly salary of R 12 500.

The striking workers are demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500. (SABC)

The Department of Labour says government does not have a role in collective bargaining and negotiations according to the labour system.

Platinum company Lonmin has dismissed 235 essential services workers. Lonmin says the employees have been absent since January 23 and recent intimidation does not explain their absence.

A court order was obtained on February 27 requiring all essential workers to return to work by May 12. The striking workers are demanding a basic monthly salary of R12 500.

The union members have rejected a 10% wage increase offer from Anglo American, Implats and Lonmin platinum mines.  

Speaking on AM Live, Department of Labour Acting Deputy Director-General of Labour Policy, Industrial Relations, Thembinkosi Mkalipi, says government does not have the authority and the constitutional right to enter negotiations.

Click below to listen to the full interview.

Lonmin spokesperson Happy Nkhoma says the dismissed workers will be replaced because they rendered as an essential service.

Meanwhile, the Workers and Socialist Party’s Liv Shange has reacted furiously to accusations by the South African Communist Party and the African National Congress, that the party was behind the violence that has flared up in connection with the ongoing strike on the platinum mines.

Shange says the party supports the demand of the miners.

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