BMF supports labour broking changes

The Black Management Forum (BMF) on Tuesday added support to the move by government to prohibit abusive practices by labour brokers.

“The BMF supports the move by government [on] labour brokers who continue to violate the constitutional rights of workers and strip them of their dignity,” BMF Deputy President Tembakazi Mnyaka said in a statement.

“The proposed amendments have not done away with temporary workers but only strengthened their rights to be treated fairly whilst serving their contracts,” Mnyaka said.

“The BMF is appalled that certain sectors of our society still seek to maintain the status quo of permanent temporary workers, who do not receive fair compensation and benefits, in some cases for decades,” he said.

He said the legislation would also deal with the “rampant” abusive practices on farms, “where workers are not far off from slavery”.

BMF president Jimmy Manyi said that the myth of labour brokers creating jobs should be dispelled, as it was companies that created jobs.

“Labour brokers merely supply labour and remunerate them at exploitative wages,” he said.

‘Open to debate’
On the amendments, Manyi added: “The BMF is of the view that the opposition to a 10% turn-over penalty is a clear demonstration that some corporates want to continue fighting against transformation.”

“The 10% turn-over is a fine and therefore is meant for offenders and will not be applicable to corporates who adhere to and comply with the legislation,” he said.

Proposed changes to labour legislation that aimed to end casual worker brokers were a long way from becoming law and were open to debate, a senior labour department official said from Cape Town.

Thembinkosi Mkalipi, a department manager presiding over the public hearings on the proposed amendments, said if problems were found in the proposed amendments there was ample time to fix them.

“The issue of these laws being badly drafted is the last of our worries. They are nowhere near going to Parliament yet. We have numerous meetings scheduled with Nedlac [the National Economic Development and Labour Council] about these changes to the laws.
They are open to debate. If we all agree, then we will fix them. We will not do anything illegal.”

The next labour hearings will take place in Port Elizabeth on January 20.—Sapa

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