Fin24

Don't ban labour brokers: UPP

2010-12-23 15:05

Cape Town - Labour broking still had a role in South Africa and banning the practice would deal a blow to the jobless, the Unemployed People's Party (UPP) said on Thursday.

UPP general secretary Malcolm Gema was reacting to a statement by Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi that next year would see the "mother of all battles" against labour broking.

"If Cosatu were to prepare for a 'mother of all battles in 2011', then the unemployed would have to prepare for the 'father of all battles' in response," Gema said.

"It is sad if Cosatu would still wish to pursue the debate in this manner. Why want to engage and frustrate poor workers in such a debate?"

He said there was a need to look at alterntives to a ban, such as ensuring that all labour brokers adhered to labour legislation.

The labour department last week published bills that redefine and regulate the role of temporary employment placement agencies, but stops short of banning the practice.

Vavi has subsequently clarified his stance, saying his "mother of all battles" call was not an attack on government and the proposed labour law amendments, but on labour brokers and employers who were likely to resist greater regulation.

He said the trade union federation accepted that temporary employment played an essential role in the economy.