Crackdown on bogus unions

29 January 2003

The Department of Labour says at least 158 trade unions and 41 employer organisations will be deregistered by the end of this week because of their failure to comply with official registration procedures.

The latter have for the past five years failed to submit financial reports, which are proof of their existence, to the Registrar of Labour Relations.

The deregistered bodies, some of which are affiliates of Cosatu and Fedusa, are to be published in the Government Gazette on Friday.

However, all the deregistered organisations, or any other interested person, will have 60 days to explain to the Registrar of Labour Relations why the registration of any organisation should not be cancelled.

Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana said the purpose of deregistration was to ensure that both private and public organisations purporting to represent workers exercise tight financial controls.

He called on workers to demand that union officials account for monies and that these officials act as genuine representatives of the workers.

“I do not like deregistering these organisations, but I believe that the presence of strong trade unions and employer organisations in the labour market is essential for both productivity and strong economic growth,” Mdladlana said.

He noted that unscrupulous individuals and consultants not only set up bogus organisations, but also infiltrated the structures of existing registered organisations.

“Their main objective is the handling of labour disputes, especially dismissals and unfair labour practices, thereby also undermining the efforts of genuine organisations to bargain collectively.”

Mdladlana explained that his department had embarked on a process to identify and weed out organisations that were either bogus or had failed to comply with the requirements of the Labour Relations Act.

“Emphasis is being placed on the requirements in Section 100 stipulating that organisations submit their financial statements together with an auditor’s report to the Registrar of Labour Relations.”

In August last year, the department sent out written notices to all registered trade unions and employer organisations advising them to meet their registration requirements.

Source: BuaNews