South Africa: Collective bargaining in construction sector to be established

04 July 2014

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi on Thursday said he would initiate a forum through which organised labour could meet with construction industry employer associations in an attempt to establish collective bargaining in the sector.

Speaking at a National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) central committee meeting, in Boksburg, he noted that various construction industry associations did not want to accept collective bargaining.

Nxesi stated that the worst exploitation of, and injuries to, workers were found in the construction sector and, as the industry was on the rise owing to significant infrastructure development programmes, unions could not be expected to strategise on how to organise workers in this industry.

“It is going to be a challenge that we meet and strategise with organised labour [on] how we are going to force [employers] through the Construction Sector Charter Council (CSCC) to agree to collective bargaining,” Nxesi said, reiterating that he would deal with this issue.

“We need to work together to operationalise the CSCC and implement the codes as part of the broad transformation strategy, which has to include and be led by organised labour,” Nxesi stated.

In addition, he highlighted the importance of developing the skills of workers in the construction sector, stating that this priority was also seen in the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission’s building requirements.

“[Companies cannot] only execute tenders and leave our people without skills,” he emphasised.
By: Leandi Kolver

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