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Labour Minister bats to prosecute noncompliant factories
Oct '10
Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana recently while addressing the clothing sector delegates at the annual general meeting of the National Bargaining Council in Cape Town stated that, the clothing factory owners who deny paying minimum wages to their workers are not giving their employee's fundamental rights and he will initiate criminal proceedings against those employers for violating the stipulations of the Bargaining Council Agreement.

The Minister said that, the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union and even the Bargaining Council, which stands for almost all of the big and established factory owners, have shown their readiness to support him for this.

They are now demanding some amendments to be made in the Labour Relations Act, which would permit them to initiate criminal proceedings against the contravening employer's rather than just penalizing them monetarily as at present, as this light punishment is not being able to curb the evil.

It is now very much apparent that, the inefficiency to beat imports from the East and especially China mainly with regards to prices is the main reason underlying miseries of the country's clothing and textile industry.

Asian-style sweatshops will not be permitted in the country and it could prove counter-productive to have nodal bargaining in the country, However, if people are ready to work for a pay below minimum wage, subject to that, health and safety norms are adhered to, then it should be recognized as their fundamental right.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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