foodBL Premium reports that a number of employers in the hospitality industry are preparing an application for an urgent court interdict to stop the government extending a collective agreement struck at the industry’s bargaining council to nonparties.  

The agreement was signed at the Bargaining Council for Fast Foods, Restaurant, Catering and Allied Trades and was gazetted on 8 January by Department of Employment & Labour (DEL) Minister Thulas Nxesi.  In the notice, Nxesi extended the agreement signed under the auspices of the council to non-signatory parties.  The aggrieved employers claim the government relied on inaccurate representativeness data.  Under the agreement, all employers in the sector will, among other requirements, have to increase workers’ hourly wages by CPI plus 1.5% from 1 May; provide workers with a stipend of R17.50 a week if they are required to wash their own uniforms; and provide annual bonuses in December.  Employers will also be required to pay various monthly levies to the council.  Democratic Alliance (DA) employment & labour spokesperson Michael Cardo asserted that the extension of the agreement and its enforcement would deal a “deathblow to an industry that has been battered over the past year and is already on its knees”.  Rosemary Anderson of the Federated Hospitality Association of SA (Fedhasa) said the agreement had been extended without the department ascertaining the extent to which the signatory employer bodies, namely the Guardian Employers Organisation (Geo) and Catra, truly represented the industry.  Restaurants Association of SA (Rasa) CEO Wendy Alberts called on Nxesi to explain who approved the new bargaining council, which she claimed was “undemocratic and unconstitutional”.

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