Wage hike, Assmang risk, BEE, Mutual resignation

Wage increases can’t keep up

Higher increases in food and fuel prices could lead to low and middle class earners putting pressure on employers to give higher pay rises.

(Sunday Times, 15 April 2007)

Firm under fire for poisoning risk

Ten workers at Assmang were clinically diagnosed by doctors associated with the company as suffering from manganism. It is believe scores more are experiencing the “serious debilitating effects of the disease.” A government inquiry has commenced to determine the workers level of exposure and decide if the company or any of its top representatives should be prosecuted for failure to protect workers from manganese poisoning. The CEO, Bryan Broekman Bryan Broekman claims their dust and fume measurements had generally met the Occupational Exposure Limit set by South Africa’s Hazardous Chemical Substances regulations. These regulations are 15 times higher in exposure than World Health recommendations. The occupational health lawyer, Richard Spoor expressed concern over the company being unable to state when it became aware of neuro-toxicity of manganese and could not provide documents of taking steps to prevent managanese exposure. The hearing resumes in July.

(IOL, 15 April 2007)

State medical aid’s healthy growth of 1 000 joiners each day

In 15 months, the Government Employees Medical Scheme (Gems) has attracted 115 000 principal members, about 50% from open schemes. Government provides a higher percentage contribution for its employees on Gems than for those on other scheme. Gems is one of the five largest medical aid schemes

(City Press, 14 April 2007)

Beyond the pale?

Whites that brought skills to BEE groups have reaped fortunes in the process. A detailed article that uses BEE organisations, Mvelaphanda, Hosken Consolidated Investments Safika and Petona to discuss the benefits derived by whites, the business case and whether this created or probhibited opportunities for blacks.

* Article Free for Limited period

(Financial Mail, 11 April 2007)

Man hacked to death in forest

A foresty contractor was allegedly hacked to death in the state forests around World View at Hilton by three casual workers that he had hired. The motive seems to be robbery.

(IOL, 11 April 2007)

Staff defections: Mutual moves fast                                                                       

In a surprise move, two senior managers defect from Old Mutual Investment Group SA (Omigsa), one doing something on their own and another joining Sanlam. They are under restraint of trades.  The recent restructuring of Old Mutual’s asset management also involved changes to employees conditions – remuneration linked to investment and business unit performance.

(Moneyweb, 10 April 2007)

City still counting bus strike cost

The cost of the two month Metrobus strike to the City of Johannesburg had not been determined as management attention was on bringing it to closure. The strike claimed the lives of three bus drivers

(Business Report,  5 April 2007)

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