Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi. File photo: ANA/Doctor Ngcobo
Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi. File photo: ANA/Doctor Ngcobo

Nxesi must withdraw extension of bargaining deal that will destroy hair salons, says DA

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Jun 13, 2020

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Cape Town – Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi has effectively dealt the beauty and haircare sector a death blow, and must immediately withdraw the collective bargaining deal he extended to “non-parties” in the sector on Friday, the DA said.

The sector, which had been shuttered since the beginning of the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown on March 27 and still could not open for business, was already on its knees, DA employment and labour spokesperson Michael Cardo saidon Saturday.

The DA had taken the matter to court and was fighting to have the ban and criminalisation of "personal care" services, which included hairdressers and beauticians, declared invalid and unconstitutional. The matter will be heard by a full bench of the High Court on June 22, he said.

"In the interim, however, Minister Nxesi has effectively dealt the sector a death blow. His latest move will destroy the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of employers and employees who work in salons, barber shops, and personal care establishments."

On Friday, Nxesi extended a bargaining deal reached in the national bargaining council for the hairdressing, cosmetology, beauty and skincare industry in March to non-parties. This meant that the agreement would be extended to all employers and employees in the industry as of June 22.

The agreement provided for increases in minimum salaries for specific classes of employees, depending on the location of the salon. The agreement banned wage reductions and demanded an "ex gratia" bonus payment by all employers of 5.5 percent of the minimum wages established in the agreement, Cardo said.

"Most small-business owners in the sector could not afford to give effect to these demands. They would be bankrupted by them. They had had no income for three months. They were already struggling to keep their heads above water. And now, Nxesi had left them to sink and drown.

"Nxesi should immediately withdraw the extension of this collective bargaining agreement to non-parties. Going forward, the DA would push for legal exemptions for small and new firms from collective bargaining agreements to which they were not party, while rebalancing collective bargaining to ensure small and new firms were better represented," Cardo said.

African News Agency (ANA)

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