Handling labour brokers

THE SACP and the Young Communist League clearly do not understand the core issues relating to labour broking. They merely use the issue to deflect attention from the problems in the alliance and the drop in membership across all its institutions.

THE SACP and the Young Communist League clearly do not understand the core issues relating to labour broking. They merely use the issue to deflect attention from the problems in the alliance and the drop in membership across all its institutions.

This was again demonstrated at their conference in Polokwane last week.

Buti Manamela was quoted as trashing labour brokers as slave traders. He was quoted: "Be warned, if Parliament in which I serve does not outlaw you, the youth will take the law in their hands and shut you down."

While rallying YCL members to unlawful action, he did not address any real issues. The parliamentary labour committee has for the past five months been calling for input on how to improve the industry and to protect workers from abuse.

Issues which Manamela, Blade Nzimande and Zwelinzima Vavi should have addressed are:

l How to regulate the industry;

l How to enforce current laws in the industry when some brokers evade the law;

l What new measures should be introduced to ensure that labour broker employees have proper access to medical and pension facilities, UIF, better CCMA regulations, sick leave and working conditions.

Instead, what members heard was irrelevant polemic directed against their scapegoat, the labour brokers. When will the ANC's social partners begin to engage in meaningful debate instead of hiding behind all these techniques of obfuscation? We are yet to see constructive dialogue.

We call for meaningful debate and for specific practical suggestions of remedies that can be implemented to regulate the industry and protect the vulnerable, instead of emotional rhetoric which does nothing for South Africa.

Ian Ollis MP, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Labour

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