Unions call for accountability on corruption
Trade unions have called on the government to hold their organisations accountable amid claims and proof of rampant corruption and maladministration in some unions. Business Day reports that the advent of ‘business unionism’, in which union leaders use their positions for financial gain, has left unions such as the SA Municipal Workers Union in tatters. And workers have been the biggest losers. Speaking at the 22nd annual summit of the National Economic Development and Labour Council, National Council of Trade Unions president Joseph Maqhekeni appealed to Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant to tighten the laws governing union formations. ‘Deregistration is not enough. You must hold us accountable as union leaders,’ he said. The labour registrar has the powers to deregister a trade union if it is found to be operating outside the guidelines detailed in the Labour Relations Act. These include the regular submission of audited financial statements. However, the report says, union leaders who are found guilty or suspected of abusing union funds are rarely prosecuted.