Labour brokers 'are human traffickers'

2012-05-01 12:50

Cape Town - Labour brokers are "human traffickers" who are making huge profits by hiring out workers as though they are commodities, Cosatu said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Patrick Craven said in the federation's Workers' Day statement that labour brokers were exploiting workers as businesses raked in "more profits than ever".

"Cosatu demands that labour brokers must be completely banned," Craven said.

"They are nothing more than human traffickers, making huge profits by hiring out workers to their client companies as if we are no more than commodities like office furniture or stationery."

Craven said more than 30% of the work force had been "casualised".

He said the government and the ruling African National Congress still insisted that there should be a role for the labour brokers for the six months of employment but for the Congress of SA Trade Unions "this was six months too long".

Some gains had been made in the talks with the ANC. These included equal pay for work of equal value and workers being made permanent after six months.


  • David - 2012-05-01 13:22

    And Cosatu are job destroyers and economy wreckers,but they have Zuma on a leash.

      James - 2012-05-01 14:32

      aka as Employment Agencies. Pretty common in the US.

  • Mike Purchase - 2012-05-01 13:25

    Ah wake up people more money for the union thats all it is.

  • Adri - 2012-05-01 13:29

    So what is Cosatu doing any different taking money from the poor and do nothing in return. At least these people now have a job and food on the table = less people living of grants.

  • Ted - 2012-05-01 13:32

    Good point Cosatu. But why did it take you more than a decade and half to notice? Its inherently unfair to work, someone gets the cheque and gives you change!. Slavery clothed in a Gucci outfit, fishnet stockings and red stilettos.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-05-01 16:12

      And the alternative Ted?

  • Hermann - 2012-05-01 13:35

    The solution is simple. Ban all labour brokers, increase unemployment, promote crime and there COSATU you have your way, but do not forget the wheel turns and albeit turns slowly it will get you one day.

  • leonard.nel - 2012-05-01 13:35

    If they don't get their way they act like naughty children and strike while vandalising other's property.

  • Brian - 2012-05-01 13:36

    Is it not ironic that the union actaully use their members as "commodities" when calling a strike, and they do not even pay them for their time. Labour brokers at least remunerate their employees for the time spent on assignments. Banning the whole industry is going to cause huge job losses as their are close to a million employees of labour brokers - not a lot of these people will find permanent work immediately - they have not considered the consequences of such an action, as it is an idealogy which will not work in practice. Labour brokering is practised all over the world and is NOT the cause of high unemployment figures!

  • jutah.mathebula - 2012-05-01 13:40

    sometimes they do help us, bcos its hard looking for work while you dont have family or 4rnds wu work at da company,

      Yar - 2012-05-01 13:46

      @jutah What a literary gem. I guess you must be an out of work journalist. I wish I knew what you were saying.

      jutah.mathebula - 2012-05-01 16:24

      oh sory abt dat....i min Labour brokers sometimes do help us bcos they are fair in recruiting, meaning its hard to find work via company if you dont have connections lyk 4rnds and fmily wu work at dat company

      Yar - 2012-05-01 19:34

      @Jutah Thanks for that.. If I may translate - are you saying: "I mean,Labour brokers sometimes do help us, Because they are fair in recruiting. Particularly when it is hard to find work at a company. Especially if you don't have connections, like friends and family who work at that company."

  • Chumscrubber1 - 2012-05-01 13:40

    Trade unions are meant to protect the rights of workers, but instead abuse their positions for political purposes. Trade unions exploit workers for political gain - most of their actions result in less employment. They defend workers when they are blatantly guilty of dismissable offences, such as theft. I fired my entire workforce after they were unionised - because the day they became uniosed they started breaking every labour law, they were fooled by the unions that they now had a free for all. None of my staff will have anything to do with these unions now, they have seen through them. Once your staff unionise, working relationships between management and staff are destroyed. This is purposefully done by the unions, as they have hidden agenda's, they have no interest in the well being of the people they deduct money from every month. I have no respect for, or trust in them. The day machines become the only viable way to run a business, is the day there will be great suffering in this country. I wish somebody out there would just teach people pride and work ethic, nobody minds paying somebody a good salary if they are worth it!

      vandeventer.sarel - 2012-05-01 14:26

      I know lots of bosses who minds, my current company wont pay me a cent more even though im doing 2 peoples work. When i went 2 ask 4 more they told me the bargaining council states they only have to pay me the highest of the 2 jobs i do. So now im doing double the work but getting the same per hour as most guys at work. Not all bosses would pay a high salary, most of them are to stinchy to give a damn

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-05-01 14:42

      I guess "nobody" is the wrong word, but certainly most employers don't mind paying when they feel they're getting value for their money. I think in your case it's that you work in a unionised situation, where the only interaction between employers and employee's is conflict - caused by your union. Hence the employer will do everything possible to stick to the book (your bargaining council), as he knows you are simply out to milk him for every cent you can with the least possible effort. It is merely treating the employee's the way they are treating the employers. It is defensive. With trade unions, issues like your's are not dealt with constructively, hence you are in the boat you are rowing. I have a mate who just had a strike - one of their gripes was they wanted a bonus regardless of performance - is there any sense in a demand like that? Would you like that - you get paid the same as the lazy oke working next to you? Oh - you are in that situation - well you can thank your union for that ...

      CapeTownRob - 2012-05-01 14:45

      @sarel If you are now doing twice as much as you were before, doesn't that mean that you were working at half-speed before. Now that you are actually doing what you should, you suddenly think that you are a hero.

  • CapeTownRob - 2012-05-01 14:39

    Moral issues become far more complex when looked at on an individual basis. I'm sure the working conditions of those working for labour brokers are far from ideal. The sad truth in South Africa is, that most of the time even this terrible job is better than his alternatives. The long-term solution to getting rid of the indecent jobs is the upskilling & improvement in productivity of the labour force.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-05-01 16:16

      We're a semi third world country, we don't have the luxury of only offering "decent" jobs. Sometimes people need to take whats on offer in order to survive. Reality is a beech.

  • George - 2012-05-01 18:18

    Agreed. What business or use has a third party (labour broker) between an employee and the employer. Brokers 'sell' people, they don't help to find work. They collect a huge amount of an employees salary. In many cases they collude with employers to lock out independent job seeking employees not to mention offering back handers to incompetent HR managers. The sooner they disappear off the SA scene the better. GO for it COSATU.If you really analyze it they are the e-Toll equivalent in the labour market. PAy me, work through me or you won't get a job.

  • Ted - 2012-05-01 19:05

    I think everyone commenting here has a job where they have a one-on-one with the employer. Now let's be realistic. After deductions say you 'earned' R5000.You are then given R2500 and someone who didn't share your toil gets the other R2500. Is that acceptable to you? Worse still, imagine that I was an Openheiemer chap when they controlled all those businesses and I am a labour broker for all the businesses in the conglomerate. Can anyone get a fair shot at a job opportunity without passing thru me? When there was slavery in its crudest form, some people campaigned against its banning coz they argued the enslavers were doing the slaves a favour. It can never be right to honestly sit on your computer and write on this forum advocating the enslavement of your countrymen. If its bad for you personally, why could it be right for someone else?. Even apartheid had its own supporters. Labour broking is not a business, it is a crime! Let's rise up against this modern-day slavery. You can't write here that at least those enslaved have a job?! Slavery is not a job. This should be repugnant in the extreme to our collective moral conscience. This country's ubuntu bank account is shameful to show to the world.

      Alan - 2012-05-02 09:40

      Ted, you are making up facts to suit your own arguments. I know companies who use labour brokers, and they most certainly do not 'take R2500 from a worker's R5000.' Silly argument.

      vandeventer.sarel - 2012-05-02 13:19

      Well allan, how much should they take then? Some of them takes over 20percent!!!!! I cant believe people are condoning labour brokers. Go and work for them first before commenting. People are getting sick of being ripped off

      Peter L' Estrange - 2013-06-24 16:24

      Stupid Ted. You are getting to sound like that Commie, Patrick Craven, who thinks he is talking to uneducated people that the ANC have failed to teach properly these last 19 years.

  • Trevor - 2012-05-01 23:22

    Ban the unions.Although then the organisers would get jobs as politicians. Which is worse???.

  • Vincent - 2012-05-02 07:01

    Labour Brokers are also employment agencies. When companies need labour, they can hire workers from the Brokers who have checked out the credentials of workers. Ban labour brokers and what do we replace them with to ensure that those who are interested in working can be put together with companies seeking labour? Must companies now collect the labour off street corners?

      Ted - 2012-05-02 07:29

      Employment agents don't take a portion of your monthly wage. They are paid for by the employer in most cases and its a once off payment.

      charlesaduplessis - 2012-05-14 16:41

      Spot on Ted, Labour brokers are nothing else than middle men whom gets paid half our wages for doing absolutely nothing. I see them lavashing "Employers" ,with gifts, etc etc... and feel absolutely nothing for the "people" making them the money... 20 years of experiencing this ....

  • Attie - 2012-05-02 08:47

    The biggest reason for COSATU targeting Labour Brokers is because they need the employees to be Unionised. Over 900 000 fixed term employees are working in the Labour Broking industry, just imagine the income COSATU and the Unions could get if all the employees become union members.

  • Alan - 2012-05-02 09:36

    Cosatu is losing membership, so are getting desperate. The R100 million they take in PER MONTH from workers' dues is now not enough to fund their leaders' lavish lifestyles. And yet they still continue to destroy businesses (and jobs) by the thousand due to their ridiculous demands.

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