Mdladlana promises drama over labour broking

There was going to be “drama” over the government’s plans to crack down on labour broking, Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana said on Thursday.

He told the Motor Industry Bargaining Council in Cape Town that National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) had spent five years discussing temporary employment services, and was still claiming it was being rushed.

“I don’t have time to play around,” he said.

“Now is the time for us to govern. And we are going to govern. So be prepared, be prepared for drama.”

Nedlac is a forum for government, employers and organised labour.

Mdladlana said a “sharp” legal adviser had told him to repeal section 198 of the Labour Relations Act, amend section 57 of the Employment Equity Act, and section 82 of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

Section 198 deals with temporary employment services.

Mdladlana said this was, however, “just advice”.

“I won’t tell you if I agree with or not.”

He said earlier this year a draft of the revised legislation should be ready “by 2010”.

Union federation Cosatu also wants a ban on the R26-billion labour broking industry, which employs more than half a million people a year.

Speaking to Sapa afterwards, Mdladlana said employers should be compelled by law to notify the Labour Department of all job vacancies.

Work-seekers were registering at the department’s employment services offices, but employers were not telling the offices about vacancies.

“Clearly we will need to come with a law that actually compels the employers to inform about vacancies. That includes government as an employer as well.”

This would provide a centralised data base that covered the entire country.

“As it stands now, our people do not even know where vacancies are. That is why they are vulnerable. They get picked up in the street ... Every vacancy that is there, we need to know.”

This service to work-seekers would continue to be free of charge, as recommended by the International Labour Organisation.—Sapa

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