100 signatures reached
To: Finance Minister Mboweni, National Treasury, Employment and Labour Minister Nxesi, CCMA Director Morajane
The CCMA must open and stop failing workers #OPENCCMACAMPAIGN
1. The immediate full reopening of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), including walk-in facilities and part-time commissioners hearing cases, with all necessary Covid-19 health protocols in place to prevent the spread.
2. An increase in the budget of the CCMA to meet its growing caseload.
3. The immediate appointment of more full-time commissioners, even if this means cutting the R4m annual salary of the CCMA director.
4. A complete ban on part-time commissioners acting for employers during the period of transition towards employing more full-time commissioners.
5. Investigate all allegations of corrupt commissioners, anti-worker commissioners and disrespectful staff.
6. Scrapping Rule 25 and giving all workers the right to representation at the CCMA, regardless of whether they are members of registered trade unions or not.
7. The immediate closure of National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) – 56% of whose R40 million annual budget goes to salaries, where the average salary is R800 901 and where the working class is routinely sold out by ‘organised labour’ and self-styled, unaccountable ‘community representatives’.
8. The immediate closure of Productivity SA – whose budget is over R80 million per year and whose sole purpose is to find ways to intensify the daily exploitation of workers.
9. The redirecting to the CCMA of the existing Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) funding for Productivity SA and NEDLAC.
10. The resignation from the CCMA governing body of the three labour federations. Cosatu's Bheki Ntshalintshali to pay back R206 157 he received for attending GB meetings in 2019. Nactu's Narius Moloto to pay back the R174 312 he received. Geoffrey Esitang of Fedusa - R52 293.
11. A restructured DEL that includes an increased budget, increased inspectorate that can assume enforcement functions currently and inappropriately entrusted to the CCMA, dismissal of staff responsible for corruption in the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and Compensation Fund .
Why is this important?
Right now, workers are more vulnerable than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in job losses, rising cost of living and workers who have been unfairly dismissed and treated need the services of the CCMA to help them get justice. The CCMA must be functioning well so that workers can depend on the institution to fight labour issues.
But the CCMA has closed its doors on vulnerable workers and expects workers to refer their case online, which is inaccessible to those who need the most support. The Casual Workers Advice Office (CWAO) has reported that the CCMA is outsourcing things like printing forms to internet cafes around their offices, where there have been incidents of people being charged R40 to refer their case . This is a service the CCMA is supposed to provide for free .
The #OpenCCMACampaign is an initiative of 40 organisations. Our aim is to fight to transform the CCMA into an organisation that respects workers and is guided by social justice. The #OpenCCMACampaign will embark on a series of planned actions to challenge planned budget cuts to the CCMA, among other demands. Various actions have taken place throughout the year. We have protested at various CCMA offices  and will continue to do so.
The CCMA has also threatened the CWAO with legal action for exposing these dodgy operations. We take this action against our partner organisation seriously. But this will not stop us from challenging budget cuts to the CCMA and their own anti-worker actions. Many workers depend on the CCMA to leave the institution’s future in the hands of the bosses and the leaders of the NEDLAC federations.
On 30 March, a CCMA statement noted that although R90.1 million has already been deducted from its 2020/21 budget, the projected cuts over three years have been reduced from over R600 million to R301 million. It also confirmed that part-time commissioners would begin to hear cases again, starting from 1 April.
None of these changes addresses our core demands for an immediate reversal of the budget cut; for a significant expansion of the CCMA budget; for the full-reopening of the CCMA’s walk-in facilities; for the permanent employment of all part-time commissioners, and for a total transformation of the culture and practices of the institution which have become explicitly anti-worker.
We note that the crisis engulfing the CCMA will not be resolved through ‘stakeholder’ meetings and press briefings. We call on all progressive worker organisations to abandon the politics that drives them to look for a ‘seat at the negotiating table’ instead of joining forces with other worker organisations on the ground.
 Workers pay for CCMA services that were once free, Masego Mafata and Liezl Human for GroundUp, April 2021