As COSATU Free State we welcome the Portfolio Committee on Labour from the National Assembly in the province. However the date which has been chosen of February 04, 2015 will leave out the directly affected workers from the process. As COSATU we take the issue of the National Minimum Wage quite seriously and we believe that the affected workers (farm workers) should be given a fair chance to be part of the program of public hearings.
It is a well known fact that it is a very difficult process to get farmers to release their workers to attend activities during working hours this has been experienced even on crucial issues like Election Day! We face the situation whereby un-mandated spokesperson may play into the limelight and purport to represent the interests of the farm workers in their absence.
We hope this exercise would not be done for compliance purposes and that a date which would be suitable for the farm workers as a key sector in this discussion would be able to attend in multitudes. Any date during Saturday and or Sunday would be suitable since most farm workers are not on duty.
We have already communicated our dissatisfaction with the date to the chairperson of the portfolio committee and we await her response on the matter.
Issued by COSATU Free State
Source : Congress of South African Trade Unions