New health and safety union SARSU launched in October 2014 to represent Sheq practitioners and to address workplace, gender and corruption issues.
The Safety and Related Services Union (SARSU) is registered with the Department of Labour. It has no political affiliation, and represents members in bargaining with employers on health and safety issues, wages, environmental and quality matters.
SARSU was started by Jeremy Rundle, Monique Motloung, and Ntuthuko Dumakude, “in response to a clear need for an organisation dedicated solely to safety, health, environment and quality practitioners.
“Workers, in particular women, should organise themselves to protect all workers’ rights. We therefore started the union for Sheq officials and related professions and practices, who are in need of representation and protection of their rights.
“SARSU will place emphasis on equality between men and women, support noteworthy practitioners, and lobby for an official system of recognition of training institutions and minimum wages.
“We will also express the voice of the people who are affected when laws and regulations are passed without due process being followed.”
The issue of training providers seems aimed against rogue providers who exploit learners with low quality or unrecognised health and safety training.
SARSU is based in Durban, with satellite offices in each of the major centers. The health and safety union launch was in Durban on 17 October 2014, noting “the struggle of employees marred by stagnation and political alliances formed by existing unions, who have lost sight of the needs of their members.
“As a union focused on the health and wellbeing of employees, as provided for in the Constitution and the Labour Relations Act, SARSU will serve workers, where other unions have failed to deliver on their mandate as representatives of the working class.
“SARSU’s aim is better working conditions in all sectors, increased minimum wages, legislative amendments to the draconian practice of labour broking, and improved regulation of training facilities to providing recognition of training on a national scale.”
SARSU oppposes OHS registration schemes
SARSU co-founder Jeremy Rundle wrote to consulting body NIOCCSA; “We oppose this ridiculous idea [of construction health and safety professional registration].
“Due diligence and effective industry consulting methods were not followed [for the Construction Regulations Amendment, and for the appointment of the SACPCMP as a designated registrar], and it would result in major repercussions to the ‘boots on the ground.”
On another theme of administrative fairness, SARSU general secretary Ntuthuko Dumakude wrote about E-tolling; “SARSU welcomes the stance taken by the ANC in Gauteng in relation to the Electronic Tolling of public roads (E-Tolls) in the province, their change in stance and the recognition that this endeavour was doomed to failure makes for a refreshing change in direction.
“We trust that the ANC government will recognise the urgency to revisit the hated system of E-Tolls, and source alternative funding to sustain road infrastructure improvement and to maintain roads in a safe manner in Gauteng and SA.
About affiliations, Dumakude said; “SARSU does not subscribe to mainstream politics, and it’s money-hungry and money-grabbing approach.
“We support the ongoing campaign against the E-Toll system which will result in a decrease in household expenditure capabilities.
“SARSU and its members will support such mass action including a law-compliant civil disobedience program.”
• Source; http://sarsu.org.za/
• The health and safety union SARSU told Sheqafrica.com that they are a-political. Ntuthuko Dumakude was involved in the political party COPE, and quit to pursue civil activism.
Jeremy Rundle (IOSH UK, Specialist Health, Safety and Environment Consultant, MSc Risk and Safety Management UK, Dip Workers Health and Safety Australia, NEBOSH Dip UK) has 11 years of experience in the oil industry in 17 countries. He was involved in the provincial structure of the DA, and quit to pursue civil activism.
Monique Motloung is an a-political gender and Sheq activist. In addition, whe had started a Sheq officer support system.
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