|Article Date: 18 April 2012
There has been a huge growth of confidence in the services of the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) among social partners from employers and organised labour in the last four years, a meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Labour was told in Parliament on Wednesday.Nerine Kahn, director of the CCMA, was presenting the organisation’s Siyaphambili strategy for the period 2011 to 2015.
“A classic example of our success in the South African labour market is the improved user confidence as evidenced by a 94 percent increase in acceptance of offers of assistance in public interest disputes from 2007 to 2011,’’ Kahn said.
A public interest dispute refers to a matter where an industrial action issue may threaten lives, the economy or safety of citizens and intervention will be in the society’s interest.She said other measures instituted by the CCMA to support the economy and promoting industrial peace have seen the creation of a voluntary bargaining structure in the private security sector following the crippling industrial action in 2006. Hence the structure has now ensured constructive bargaining for over six years, and brought industrial peace in an often fraught sector.
Kahn said the CCMA had also successfully intervened in major national disputes in the clothing sector in 2009, 2010 and 2011, civil engineering sector in 2009, Transnet in 2010, Metrorail in 2010, Eskom in 2010, Motor Industries in 2010, Road Freight in 2011 and the Chemical sector in 2011.
She said the CCMA had also helped maintain relative industrial peace in the run-up to and during the 2010 Fifa World Cup. “This was achieved through implementing a structure, process and monitoring mechanisms to deal with disputes that had potential to impact negatively on the event,’’ she said.
Turning to the training layoff scheme initiated by the Department of Labour to assist companies in distress, Kahn said training had been completed in 17 businesses and over 6 000 employees.
“Training is currently underway in 32 businesses – translating to close to 3 000 employees – equally important is to state that active applications of the scheme involve 85 companies and over 12 000 employees,’’ she said.Kahn’s address formed part of the presentations to the committee by the Department of Labour and its entities.
Issued by: Mothusi Legwale
Department of Labour Provincial Communication Officer