The Executive Management of the Department of Labour in the Free State together with officials of the Department will be commemorating this year’s Workers Month by visiting a number of workplaces in and around the province to interact with workers on matters of mutual importance.
Coined workplace walk-abouts, these visits will see workers being given a platform to air their views about the services of the Department and suggest ways the Department can better serve them.  On the same token, workers will be taken through a variety of services the Department offers, they will also be advocated on their rights and obligations insofar as those services are concerned.
Coupled with these visits will be a number of blitz inspections aimed at checking the level of compliance with labour laws in the problematic sectors like Private Security.  These inspections will have representation from all competencies within the Department which will include Occupational Health and Safety Inspectors, Basic Conditions of Employment Inspectors, Employment Equity Inspectors as well as Employer Audit Officers (UIF Inspectors).
Officials from other Business Units of the Department of Labour such as Public Employment Services, Compensation Fund and Unemployment Insurance Fund will also present and market their services to workers during these inspections and walk-abouts.
Of critical importance to note is that the Department will strive to stay true to the spirit and the focal point of this month, and attend to nobody but workers themselves.  To that effect, all will be done to ensure that a substantial number of workers from different sectors of our economy are reached.
Sectors such as Private Security, Domestic, Agriculture, Wholesale and Retail, Community, Food and Beverages, Petro-chemical and Hospitality have been earmarked for this year.  This is partly due to the fact that they (sectors) constitute the majority of vulnerable workers who are mostly on the periphery and cannot easily access Department of Labour services.
Post this series of events planned for the Workers Month, Nomfundo Douw-Jack – Chief Director: Provincial Operations, together with her management team will ensure that all issues raised are followed up.  “We took a resolution as the Department that our service delivery interventions should be in keeping with the challenges, concerns and experiences of our clients.  It makes no sense to develop ways and means to address service delivery bottlenecks, if those ways and means are not informed by views and inputs from the very same end user for which the services are meant,” Ms. Douw-Jack said.
“This campaign will also afford us an opportunity to strengthen the working relations between ourselves and external stakeholders of the Department like the Trade Unions.  It will also serve as an opportunity to unravel some of the frustrations workers have with their individual employers,” she concluded.
To this end, Trade Unions have been invited as observers during the Department of Labour May Month activities.  They will therefore accompany the Department, observe and thereafter make inputs, proposals or raise their concerns on their observations during the de-briefing session which will be held on the 14 June 2018 on all activities embarked upon during this important calendar month.
Underneath please find the action plan for activities planned for Workers Month;

02/05/18 Workplace Walk-about Employees Parys – Hospitality & Domestic
03/05/18 Workplace Walk-about Employees Heilbron – Agriculture
04/05/18 Workplace Walk-about Employees Sasolburg – Petrochemical
14-17/05/18 Blitz Inspections & Advocacy Sessions Employers Phillipolis – Agriculture
07/05/18 Blitz Inspections & Advocacy Sessions Employers Bothaville – Agriculture
08/05/18 Kroonstad – Whole & Retail
09/05/18 Viljoenskroon – Hospitality
10/05/18 Koppies – Agriculture
28/05/18 Workplace Walk-about Employees Jacobsdal – Food & Beverages, Wholesale & Retail and Community Service
29/05/18 Koffifontein – Wholesale & Retail
30/05/18 Jagersfontein & Fauresmith – Wholesale & Retail as well as Food & Beverages
31/05/18 Luckoff – Wholesale & Retail

Source: Department of Labour

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