Today's Labour News

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ebrahimpatelBL Premium reports that over 150,000 SA workers have benefited from more than R100bn in wealth transferred through employee share ownership schemes (Esops).

This emerged from a media briefing on Friday on worker empowerment convened by trade, industry & competition minister Ebrahim Patel, senior company executives, business representatives and trade unions. Esops have gathered momentum as companies strive to meet broad-based BEE (BBBEE) requirements and the conditions laid down by Patel and the Competition Commission for mergers and takeovers. Patel said more than 150,000 workers were covered by these schemes, with Business Unity SA vice-president Martin Kingston adding that more than R100bn in value had been transferred to company employees. "An increasing number of JSE-listed companies have leveraged worker ownership to drive transformation in their companies," Patel indicated, citing Sasol, Impala Platinum, Cashbuild, Vodacom and Sanlam. Employee ownership contributes to scores under the BBBEE codes of good practice. Patel said the next step in this process would be worker representation on company boards, which was under early discussion at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac). Patel said it was too early to say whether this would be made compulsory under the Companies Act. Coca-Cola has agreed to have two worker representatives on its board of directors in SA.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Linda Ensor at BusinessLive (paywall access only)

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