Cosatu seeks meeting with Zuma

Johannesburg - The Congress of SA Trade Unions wants to meet President Jacob Zuma to discuss possible changes to the labour laws.

Cosatu deputy general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said on Tuesday the federation was also currently consulting its lawyers to prepare a response to proposals to change the Labour Relations Act.

Cosatu's President S'dumo Dlamini (centre) and Deputy General secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali (left) and second Deputy President Zingiswa Losi (right) speak to the media. File picture: Boxer Ngwenya. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Unions are opposed unions being forced to ballot before a strike or agreeing to mandatory arbitration following a certain number of days of industrial action.

The government, business, labour and civil society will meet later this year under the auspices of the National Economic, Development and Labour Council to discuss possible changes to the Labour Relations Act.

There have been calls by some in government, business and political parties to change the law in order to cut down the number of days workers can go on strike and to also stop them from being violent.

Labour is opposed to the suggestions, saying it will be giving away its hard-won rights.

The Cosatu briefing follows a meeting of its central executive committee meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

“The CEC agreed to fight relentlessly against any proposal which undermines workers’ constitutional rights, forces workers back to work or to dictate the method by which they obtain a strike mandate from their members,” Ntshalintshali said.