e-News bulletin 9 February 2018

 

E-NEWS BULLETIN 9 February 2018 Links to present possibilities
Editorial
While the country sits on the edge of its seat in anticipation of Zuma's fall, we cannot be distracted from the deal that was struck to swing fortunes out of his grasp. The labour law amendment bills that come before Parliament this year are the clearest evidence that workers' rights were bargained in the post-Zuma scenario. Bundled together with a national minimum wage, and with the apparent endorsement of Nedlac's labour representatives, these amendments could be mistaken as reasonable or even progressive. But since the publication of the bills, Cosatu has complained that it did not agree to all the provisions of the Minimum Wage bill, chiefly the exclusion of certain categories of worker; evidently, Cosatu sees no problem with the proposed new checks on workers' right to strike contained in the other bills.

SAFTU has, on the other hand, declared its opposition to the bills. A general meeting to debate the bills and forge a campaign against their promulgation into law has been called by the new federation and affiliates, together with the Casual Workers Advice Office and allied organisations, for this Saturday, 10 February
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Differences between SAFTU affiliates over aspects of the amendments will come to the fore. As will the question of how to win over those workers who may see progress in the national minimum wage. And above all, how to maintain unity in a movement and re-imagine liberation as the ANC disintegrates.
SOUTH AFRICA

What will Ramaphosa do for the workers?

A legislative package constituted by the National Minimum Wage Bill, together with amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the Labour Relations Act is now before Parliament. Its agenda constitutes a significant setback for the working class and its ability to represent its interests. businesslive.co.za/

New amendments to labour legislation are likely to increase unprotected strikes

strikeParliament is currently considering amendments to the Labour Relations Act, which, if passed, will dramatically alter the constitutional right to strike. The justification the Department of Labour provides in the impact assessment for the amendments is that strike action and, particularly, violent and protracted strike action is at an all-time high. The evidence, however, indicates the truth is otherwise. businesslive.co.za/

An examination of how the National Minimum Wage can be optimally accommodated by the existing labour legislative framework [research report]

Neither the advisory panel that determined the national minimum wage nor the NEDLAC agreement that approved it dealt in any depth with how existing legislation will facilitate its introduction. The Labour and Enterprise Policy Research Group at UCT try to answer this aspect. nationalminimumwage.co.za/ [615KB pdf]


South Africa's ANC - The beginning of the end

As the ANC disintegrates, Sam Asman, Zachary Levenson and Trevor Ngwane chart the fortunes of organisations to the left and right of the crumbling incumbent. catalyst-journal.com/

dube tshidiPublic Protector takes on FSB boss

The Office of the Public Protector is investigating allegations of corruption, extortion, fraud, bullying, intimidation and mismanagement by the head of the country’s financial services regulator. news24.com/

Stealing the Crust: How the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela were robbed of their inheritanceBakgatla Ba Kgafela

Under the land that belongs to the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela lie the richest platinum deposits on Earth. But a toxic alliance between government, traditional chieftaincy and major mining houses has stood between the community and its wealth. Could this be the largest state-sanctioned, business-perpetrated fraud in the history of Big Mining in South Africa? dailymaverick.co.za/

Trapped miners at Gauteng Sibanye-Stillwater Gold mine confirmed deadsibanye miners

Rescue operations have been suspended after two trapped miners were confirmed dead at the Kloof Ikamva shaft of Sibanye-Stillwater's mine in Gauteng, after a fall of ground early on Wednesday morning. dailymaverick.co.za/

shackPeople’s Tribunal for Economic Crimes: When ‘power seeps out of the Cabinet and into kitchen cabinets’

The private sector took a battering at the People’s Tribunal for Economic Crimes at Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The penultimate day of the tribunal, which organisers say aims to “join the dots” between corruption in the apartheid era and democratic South Africa, probed State Capture – and traced where the rot began. dailymaverick.co.za/

Apartheid Crimes: TRC Was 'Insufficient', Corporations Got Off Scot-Free, Says Witness

tribunal on econ crimesHuman rights lawyer Charles Abrahams told evidence leaders and a panel chaired by Justice Zac Yacoob that, while the TRC made visible many apartheid atrocities, its focus on civil and political violations without due regard for the crimes of economic actors such as multinational corporations meant its work was incomplete. huffingtonpost.co.za/

Land Audit Report [research report]

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform published its audit of land ownership in South Africa. It should settle questions on agrarian reform that has been stunted by a lack of information on who owns what of the country. ruraldevelopment.gov.za/ [2MB pdf]
INTERNATIONAL

New Report Finds Class Is a More Potent Predictor of Incarceration Than Race. But Racism Drives It.

A new statistical analysis argues that while both race and class have real effects, it’s economic oppression that matters most — or, at least, matters first. theintercept.com/

From Lack of Paid Maternity Leave to 'Hell' of Student Debt, North Korea Catalog of US Rights Violations Makes Convincing Case

kim jon unIn addition to slamming the broader and long-standing facts of American life that consistently put the U.S. behind other wealthy nations, Pyongyang also took aim at the Trump administration, which it characterized as a collection of racist "billionaires" and "their mouthpieces" who only serve the "interests of a handful of the rich circles."commondreams.org/

Bakery fined nearly $95,000 over hiring foreign workers

Bread and Roses Bakery broke the rules when it advertised incorrect wage levels in seeking American workers for its jobs before bringing in temporary foreign workers at better wage levels. pressherald.com/

neo-colonial africaAfrica is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

Based on a set of new figures, it finds that sub-Saharan Africa is a net creditor to the rest of the world to the tune of more than $41bn. The City of London is awash with profits extracted from the land and labour of Africa. aljazeera.com/

Coca-Cola And Nestlé To Privatize The Largest Reserve Of Water In South America

guarani acquiferPrivate companies are in the process of privatizing the largest reserve of water, known as the Guarani Aquifer, in South America. The aquifer is located beneath the surface of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay and is the second largest-known aquifer system in the world. truththeory.com/

Canada: The Labour Movement Splits

The decision by Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union, to leave the unifor logoCanadian Labour Congress has sent shockwaves through all unions and it threatens not just national programmes but co-ordination between unions at the regional and local levels. talkingunion.wordpress.com/
Local news from Khayelitsha, East London, Port Elizabeth, Alexandra and Orange Farm in English and isiXhosa
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NEW TECHNOLOGIES / NEW FORMS OF LABOUR

doug schifterA Driver’s Suicide Reveals the Dark Side of the Gig Economy

On Monday morning, a chauffeur in his early 60s, killed himself with a shotgun in front of City Hall in Lower Manhattan, NY, having written a lengthy Facebook post several hours earlier laying out the structural cruelties that had forced him to work more than 100 hours a week to survive. nytimes.com/

Amazon patents wristband that tracks amazon warehousewarehouse workers’ movements

Bracelet, which can vibrate to point an employee’s hand in the right direction, would further increase surveillance of work environment
theguardian.com/

Apple just made $88 billion. It’s paying $6 million for housingsan franscisco

When Steve Jobs unveiled plans for Apple’s new Cupertino campus seven years ago, he touted how 12,000 employees could finally occupy a single building. Missing from his presentation was where those employees would live. As workers begin to move into Apple Park, the absence of an accompanying residential building boom is stirring angst. sfchronicle.com/

HISTORY

vietnam memorialThe My Lai Massacre: Fifty Years Later

In 1968 there was the massacre at My Lai and its coverup. Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh broke the story to the American public in a cable published by the Dispatch News Service on November 12, 1969. The pervasive grotesque nature of the Vietnam War had become a mainstay on the nightly news and in the consciousness of those willing to listen. counterpunch.org/

The Crimes of Winston Churchill

The history of Winston Churchill and the crimes he committed are beyond belief and omitted from Darkest Hour, the just released World War II film that portrays British Prime Minister Winston Churchill as a hero. What's not remembered is that he was a vile bigot responsible for immense suffering around the world.

Events

Cape Town 19 Sept. Jhb 23 Sept.

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