Cosatu seeks clarity on decent jobs

2011-01-19 17:13

Johannesburg - Cosatu is to seek clarification from the African National Congress on reports that it was backtracking on its stated intention to create "decent work".

"If it is being correctly reported, its obviously a cause concern," Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said on Wednesday.

"We support the ANC policy from its resolution in Polokwane and the 2009 election manifesto in which decent work was one of the priority areas."

The reported about-turn by the ANC was based on comments by ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe on Monday.

Asked at a news briefing whether the jobs created in the ruling party's current employment-drive would be decent, Mantashe said this would be "putting the cart before the horse".

"Our view is that jobs must be created. Once created, then those people can engage on conditions of employment," Mantashe said.

Craven said Cosatu would ask the ANC for "clarification" on the matter during talks between the allies.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu denied on Wednesday the ruling party was backtracking on its "decent work" stance.

"We are saying we must create jobs and that is what is important. Decency can be negotiated once they (the unemployed) are in those jobs. We have a labour regime where people cannot be exploited in a work environment," he said.

He said the labour regime already in place would protect workers.

"It is not regression. Now, having dealt with the work environment we have to deal with creating work."

Labour laws, basic conditions of employment and minimum salary scales were already in place in most sectors - even the lowest paying, he said.

"Decency is already there in the environment, people who get jobs get into a decent working environment.

He added: "Our people are there and all they are asking is can you give me work, they don't qualify it with decent.

"We are getting lost in semantics that do not do anything to what's most important for our people. They want jobs, they want work, not semantics.

"Indeed, we agree that there is nothing as indecent as being unemployed... when you don't have work, you can't think of an environment that is decent."

  • Steve - 2011-01-19 17:51

    Cosatu, do not concern yourself with "decent work", instead try and get you members to do a "decent days work"

  • steve - 2011-01-19 18:07

    Another ANC bedtime fairytale story

  • Geyser - 2011-01-19 18:09

    Business has a iron grip on the throat of the government, so don't expect any change in labor policy. This country can just not escape the Neo-liberal economy pushed by Manuel and Gordhan. Chinese investors would be very happy with their white counter parts in this country for creating this exploitative economic system.

  • scud - 2011-01-19 18:18

    It is hard to believe that we have a government that is dictated to by a mob of economic illiterates

  • JadedJay - 2011-01-19 20:28

    So lets see what he's actually they don't want any old job, they want only the best jobs. Management positions only considered. Tossers.

  • BernieK - 2011-01-19 21:24

    Blah blah blah - stupid cosatu and stupid ANC don't know the concept of decent jobs - because they don't know the concept of DOING a decent job!!!!!

  • Settler - 2011-01-19 22:38

    And they want to ban Labour Brokers, bloddy agents.

  • Mike - 2011-01-19 23:07

    I'm more interested in what makes an "indecent" job.

  • thouca - 2011-01-20 04:24

    i like the anc stance of " lets get things going with good decent employers and the decency level will find itself"....sit down cosatu and shutup...lets get general employment going without scaying small and big business...

  • Abe Zarco - 2011-01-20 05:31

    There is already a failure to create the quantity of jobs promised, and now the labour movement want delivery on the quality of the non-existent jobs. Who is fooling whom?

  • Kingsley - 2011-01-20 07:07

    "Decent jobs" I'll tell what a decent job is. Somebody sitting on his backside in an office, reading the Sowetan, Daily Sun and City Press from 08H00 until 16H00 in the afternoon and earning a salary of R50000.00 per month.

  • CTS - 2011-01-20 08:29

    You want to tell me Cosatu really believed the ANC's job creation promised? Gee-wizz, aren't we a gullible bunch!

  • Bheki - 2011-01-25 14:16

    Cosatu represent people that are employed not people looking for the jobs. I know how does it feel to be jobless and become a beggar. It is degrading. As a person who feels the pains the unemployed feels, it does matter whether the job meets Cosatu's standard as long as the unemployed can feed himself/herself and his/her family, that will be satisfying for the unemployed. I will strongly advise Cosatu to review their stance. By the way why can't they start employee's own companies where they can generate decent jobs. They should stop investing in shares but start companies from A.

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