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Uasa adopts a more progressive approach to labour brokers

Trade union’s new Call Centre will assist temporary workers

Statement by André Venter, spokesperson of UASA:

The trade union UASA agrees that some labour brokers give the industry a bad name and that the ideal would be to ensure a permanent job for all workers.

However, Cosatu’s Zwelinzima Vavi’s comment yesterday that next year will see the “mother of all battles” against labour brokers is problematic in the sense that we live in a real world where there will probably always be a need for temporary workers.

To protect temporary workers in the future, UASA opens its brand new Call Centre to assist such workers as from 3 January 2011.

UASA already proposed better licensing measures and a more stringent regulation of the labour broking industry to Cabinet earlier this year. The proposed legislation concerning labour brokers is however far more rigid than we believe is necessary. If promulgated as is, we expect investor confidence to drop, an increase in job losses and a generally negative impact on the economy.

Leading the UASA initiative to create a space for the needs of those employed through temporary employment services (TES) has been Leon Grobler, Chief Operating Officer. Grobler has, through the UASA affiliation to FEDUSA, done extensive research both locallyand abroad with regards to the protection of temporary workers. He states that “UASA has designed a special dispensation for the specific needs of temporary workers in South Africa, which is unique and a first world-wide.”

The UASA intervention, which inter alia led us to present a position paper to Cabinet on the issue of TES, culminated in a memorandum of agreement which has been reached between UASA and the Confederation of Associations in the Private Employment Sector (CAPES), with the objective of ensuring the provision of decent work while emphasising the importance of social protection. The memorandum of agreement provides a model for self-regulation and self-monitoring, as well as problem solving and advice through a call centre. “The ultimate aim is to have an own and unique dispute-resolution model for the temporary workers of South Africa,” Grobler says.

The establishment of the call centre is a unique concept, dedicated to the needs of the temporary worker, and is a first in the world. The agreement addresses issues of mutual interest between the parties, but more than that, it provides UASA with a voice on behalf of temporary workers.

What this means in concrete terms, is that temporary workers can call in and request information regarding their contracts and legal rights. A free service will be provided to all UASA members who are temporary workers. We are confident that the establishment of this call centre will prove to be a great success and of great help to this employment type workers.

Anyone interested in more information may simply sms UASA TES to 32545 and we will return the call. More information is also available on our website: www.uasa.org.za

In respect of the new legislation currently open for comment, UASA has already received dates to further put its case forward to Nedlac. We trust that sanity will prevail in this matter.

For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact  Leon Grobler at 082 455 1736.

Issued by:        Helen Ueckermann

082 603 3335

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On behalf of trade union UASA