Update on National Minimum Wage bill to be announced

Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant is expected to update the media on the progress made regarding the National Minimum Wages bill on Monday.

According to a statement by the Department of Labour, Parliament is currently in a process of considering both written and oral submissions from interested parties about the bill, the Labour Relations Amendment bill and the Basic Conditions of Employment bill, ahead of concluding the considerations of the bills.

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) demanded that Parliament give more time to debate the wage bill and amendments to the labour laws, as well as to consult those most affected - workers. 

In a statement, Saftu demanded that Oliphant reopen the debate and welcome more submissions.

'Most frontal attack on workers'

"These laws will have such a devastating impact on the lives of workers, particularly the most vulnerable, and fundamentally undermine their constitutional rights, that they must not be rushed through Parliament without the fullest possible consultation with all organisations concerned," Saftu said in a statement. 

"Saftu will be making a submission to justify our view that these bills represent the entrenchment of a poverty-level minimum wage and an assault on the constitutionally guaranteed right to strike and to bargain collectively," it said.

"These rights are enshrined in the Bill of Rights and these amendments would upset the delicate balance that was struck between workers’ and employers’ rights in the Constitution. These Bills represent the most frontal attack on workers since the dawn of democracy."

Fin24 recently reported that the Democratic Alliance has argued that there would not be enough time to consider the bill to enable it to be ready for approval before the National Assembly by March 27.

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