Today's Labour News

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legalaidsaBusinessLive reports that justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola has moved to avoid debilitating industrial action that could have resulted in a total shutdown of all Legal Aid SA offices in the country.  

This was after disgruntled attorneys of the state-owned law firm handed over a list of their demands to Lamola’s office on Tuesday.  His intervention effectively halted planned nationwide protests that would have prevented the poor from accessing free legal services.  Industrial action by the attorneys would have also affected the functioning of the country’s judiciary system by putting further strain on the backlog of cases on the court roll.  The lawyers’ grievances relate to unilateral changes to their group life cover policy, and what they claim are horrible working conditions and abuse from senior executives.  They are also unhappy about the process followed to appoint outgoing CEO Vidhu Vedalankar’s successor; and the company’s decision to stop payment of their subscription fees of about R2,500 per person per year to the Legal Practice Council.  Another grievance is the lack of security personnel at the Legal Aid SA headquarters in Braamfontein.  On Wednesday, worker representative Vhambedzani Muregu indicated:  “The minister’s office said they are aware of our demands and that some of them can be quickly resolved.  They said the minister is intervening and attending to the issues raised.  We then decided to suspend the total shutdown of the Legal Aid SA offices to give the minister a chance to intervene.”

  • Read the full original of the above report by Luyolo Mkentane BusinessLive

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