CONSTITUTION OF COMMERCIAL, STEVEDORING, AGRICULTURE & ALLIED WORKER UNION

 

1.     NAME AND HEAD OFFICE OF THE UNION

(a)   The name of the union is Commercial Stevedoring, Agriculture & Allied Workers Union. The abbreviation is CSAAWU.

(b)   The head office of the Union shall be at Ladismith in the Western Cape as determined by the National congress.

 

2.     DEFENITIONS

Any expressions used in this Constitution and which is defined in the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (Act No. 66 of 1995) shall have the same meaning as the Act.

 

3.     SCOPE

The union shall be open to all workers in any of the following industries, trades, occupations or undertakings:

 

3(a) ‘Road passenger Transportation Trade’

        Which means the trade in which employees (other than employees exclusively conveying

        school children between their places of residence and the school they attend) and their

        employees are associated for the purpose of conveying for reward on any public road, any

        person by means of power driven vehicle including transport controlled by public transport

        entities intended to carry more than seven persons simultaneously, all operations incidental

        thereto and consequent thereon.

 

(b)   ‘The Goods Transportation and Storage Trade’

means the trade in which employers and employees are associated for the purpose of carrying out one of more than the following operations for reward of hire:

 

(i)              The transportation of goods by means of motor transport, including the transportation of soil, gravel, stone, coal or water which is intended for sale and the ferrying of motor vehicles, whether or not such transportation is performed for  hire or reward; and

(ii)            The storage of goods, including receiving, opening, unpacking, packing, disputing and cleaning of or accounting for goods or containerised goods

 

(c)    ‘Stevedoring Trade’ which means

(i)              The trade in which employers and employees are associated for the purpose of loading or unloading ships and includes all operations incidental to or consequent on any aforesaid activities and warehouse offered for hire as an independent service, whether such operations are performed on a ship or on shore.

(ii)            The trade in employers are associated with their employees for the purpose of supplying from among their said employees such as labour as may be required by employers referred to in (a) hereof or by any other persons or any activity or operation mentioned in (a)hereof.

            

(d)   ‘Water Transportation and Storage Trade’  

means the trade in which employers and employees are associated for the purpose of carrying out one of the following operations for reward or hire:

 

(i)              The transportation of goods by means of ship, boat, hovercraft or barge

(ii)            The storage of goods, including receiving, opening, unpacking, dispatching, and clearing of or accounting for goods or containerised goods.

 

(e)   ‘Services Sector Industry’

Which means the undertaking in which employers and employees are associated for the purpose of cleaning and maintaining industrial and commercial premises and buildings (including flats let commercially), it also includes security service delivery and shall include services in the hotel and catering services where the employees render services to the employer in terms of cleaning of motels and room services for the commercial market and leisure activities, including wild live resorts.

 

(f)    ‘Chemical and Plastic Related Industry’

‘Plastic’ means the industry in which employers and employees are associated for the purpose of manufacturing of articles or parts wholly or mainly form plastic. ‘Plastic’ means any one of the group of material which consists of or contains as an essential ingredient an organic substance of a large molecular mass and which, whilst solid in the finished state, at some stage in its manufacturing has been or can be forced, i.e.  cast calendered extruded or molded into various shapes, by flow usually through the application, singly or together, of heat and pressure. ‘Chemical’ means the industry in which chemical material is used in its organic or unorganic form to manufactured substances for the commercial use. It means the by-products which is used in its solid or liquid form.

 

 

(g)   Commercial Distributive and Retail Trade

Means the trade in which employers and employees are associated for the purposes of conducting a shop and includes all operation incidental thereto. Commercial distributive trade shall be deemed to include the sale and distribution of books, newspapers, periodicals, diaries, calendars and greeting cards.

 

(h)   Food, Beverage, Dairy Products, Wine and Spiritus manufacturing services

Includes all food, beverages, dairy products, wine and spiritus production, distribution, packaging, catering, sales etc.

(i)     Construction and related engineering services

General construction work for buildings, brickmaking, quarries, general construction work for civil engineering, installation and assembly work, building completion and finishing work.

 

(j)     Agricultural, Plantation and Forestry sector

Any employee of the Republic of South Africa shall be eligible for membership of the trade union who is employed in any capacity on the Rural and Commercial distributive trade including employees in the administrative, secretarial and in other capacities they assist an employer in conducting his agricultural, plantation and forestry business.

 

  

 

4.     AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

4.1  We are committed :

(a)   To maintain a democratic workers controlled union

(b)   To struggle for the improvement of wages, and for healthy and safe working conditions for all our members

(c)    To fight against arbitrary and unfair dismissals

(d)   To resist retrenchment and fight for full employment

(e)   To democratise the workplace

(f)    To join forces with workers and other sections of the working class everywhere in the struggle against exploitation and oppression

(g)   To build solidarity between workers and their unions in different countries

(h)   To plan and organise its administration and lawful activities

(i)     To use every legitimate means to induce employees to become members ; and

(j)     To borrow, invest, lend, subscribe or donate money for the furtherance of the objects of the union.

 

4.2  To this end, the union shall:

(a)   Conciliate disputes between members and their employees

(b)   Co-operate with or join other organisations to promote the aims and objectives and policies of the union

(c)    Co-operate and work constructively with all organisations which are committed to the same basic  democratic principles of our union

(d)   Establish and administer funds for the benefit of our members and their dependents and for employees of the union to provided that such funds shall be administered in terms of the rules. The rules and the amendments thereto governing such funds shall be submitted to the Register of Labour Relations.

(e)   To do all lawful things in the interest of workers, members of the union, and the union, provided that it is not inconsistent with the aims and policies of our union.

 

 

5.     STATUS OF THE UNION

This trade union shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession capable of entering into contractual and other relation and of suing and being sued in its own name and shall be an organisation not for gain.

 

6.     MEMBERSHIP

1      (a) All workers in the Republic of South Africa engaged in the interest as defined in clause 3 should be eligible for membership of the union

(b)Any person who, for any reason whatsoever, who was or is prevented  or discouraged to become a member of any other trade union and who wished to exercise their right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

 

2. Applications for admission or readmission to membership together with one month’s

    membership fee shall be lodged in writing with the secretary of the branch.

 

3. Every application for membership shall be considered by the Branch Executive Committee in

     4 (four) weeks of receipt by the Branch Secretary

 

4. An applicant to whom membership is refused shall be provided with reasons for such refusal

     and shall be entitled to a refund of the membership fee paid by him/her on application.

 

5. If admission to membership is refused by the Branch Executive Committee the applicant

    concerned shall have a right to appeal to the next general meeting of the branch, which shall

    have the power to confirm or reverse the decision of the Branch Executive Committee. Such

    appeal shall be in writing and shall be submitted to the Branch Secretary at least 4 (four)

    weeks before the general meeting of the branch. The general meeting’s decision shall be final.

 

6. Every member shall notify the Branch Secretary of his/her postal address and any change

    thereof within 4 (four) weeks of the date which the change occurred.

 

7. An employee who has resigned or being expelled from the trade union may be readmitted to

   membership on such conditions as the Branch Executive Committee may determine.

 

 

7.     DISCIPLINE

(1)   A member may be suspended, fined or expelled as may be determined by the Branch Executive Committee

(2)    (a) If he/she fails within 30 (thirty) days of demand, in writing, by the Branch Secretary to pay membership fees, fines or levies which are more than 3 (three( months in arrears, provided that the Branch Executive Committee may accept arrangements for the liquidation of such arrears;

(b) if he/she infringes any of the terms of this Constitution or acts in a manner which is determined to the interest of the union.

 

(3)   Provided that there shall be a right of appeal against suspension, the imposition of a fine or expulsion to the first ensuing branch general meeting. Notice of any such appeal shall be given to the branch secretary in writing within 10 (ten) days of the date on which the decision of the Branch Executive Committee was communicated to the person concerned.

(4)   No member may be suspended, fined, or expelled unless he/she has been afforded an opportunity to state his/her case personally at a meeting of the branch executive committee, of which he/she has received not less than 14 (fourteen) days’ notice in writing from the secretary. The matter with which the member us charged shall be set out in such notice.

(5)   A member who has appeared before the Branch Executive Committee in accordance with subclause (2) shall, if he/she is dissatisfied with the decision of the branch committee and has logged an appeal in the manner herein provided, have the right to restate his/her case personally to the branch general meeting which shall consider the matter.

(6)   A member shall be entitled to call witnesses in support of his/her case when attending a meeting of the Branch Executive Committee or general meeting in terms of subclause (2) and (3), as the case may be.

(7)   Any decision taken by the Branch Executive Committee in terms of this clause shall, when an appeal has been logged, be subjected to ratification or otherwise by a branch general meeting.

(8)   Therefore shall be a right of appeal to the Executive Council against the decision of a branch general meeting. Notice of such appeal shall be given to the General Secretary in writing within 14 (fourteen) days of the date on which the decision of the branch general meeting was communicated to the person concerned. The Executive Council, after making such investigation as it may deem fit, may confirm, vary or reverse the decision of the branch concerned.

(9)   Upon expulsion of a member, all monies due to the trade union by such a member shall become payable. If payment is not thereof made within 14 (fourteen) days, the branch executive committee may take such steps, as it deems necessary to secure a settlement.

(10) A member shall cease to be entitled to any benefits of membership, including the right to vote-

(a)   if the membership fees or other charges due by him/her to the trade union are more than 3 (three) months in arrears

(b)   during any period while he/she is under suspension in terms of this Constitution.

 

8.     TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP

(1)   A member may resign by giving 1 (one) months’ notice in writing to the branch secretary. Provided that no resignation shall take effect until all monies due to the trade union by the member concerned have been paid.

(2)   A member whose membership fees are more than 3 (three) months’ in arrears shall automatically cease to be a member of the trade union. Such a person shall, however, be liable for all monies due to the trade union as at the date on which he/she ceases to be a member of the trade union.

 

9.     MEMBERSHIP FEES

(1)   A membership fee of 1% per month of per month of pensionable salary provided that this shall not be less than twenty-five (25.00) rands or more than thirty-five (35.00) rands shall be payable by each member of the trade union. The fee shall be paid monthly in advance to then branch secretary or such other person as may be authorised by the branch executive committee to receive it

(2)   In addition to the membership fee, a member shall also be liable for payment in the same manner of such other fees as may be prescribed in terms of the rules governing any fund established in terms of clause 4(h).

(3)   A member shall be exempt from payment of the aforesaid membership fee in respect of any particular month during which he/she is

(a)   unemployed for 30 (thirty) days or more

(b)   unable to work for 30 (thirty) days or more on account of illness.

 

 

10.  MEETINGS

(1)   National Congress

(a)   The supreme  governing body of the trade union shall be the National Congress, which shall consist of the Executive Council and delegates elected by each branch

(b)   Then National Congress shall be convened once every year: provided that the Executive Council may decide to convene the national congress for a particular year within a six-month period after that year. Notice of its convocation shall be communicated by the General Secretary to branches at least two months before it is held.

(c)    Delegates with voting rights shall be elected by ballot of the members of each branch. The executive committee shall decide which individual delegates shall exercise voting rights as well as the priority in which they shall exercise such rights.

(d)   The number of votes that each branch exercises at the National Council shall be a fraction of the number of members in a particular delegations’ branch relative to the trade union’s membership. The Executive Council shall, at least 2 (two) months before congress, on the basis of membership records held at Head Office, determine the voting strength of each branch. The General Secretary shall notify the branches accordingly

(e)   Resolutions from branches shall be sent to the General Secretary and shall reach his/her office not later than 6 (six) weeks prior to the national congress. Copies of the National Congress agenda shall be distributed to all branches by the General Secretary not less than 30 (thirty) days prior to the National Congress

 

 

(f)    The business of the National Congress shall  primarily be

(i)              the nomination and election by ballot of members of the Executive Council

(ii)            the consideration of reports from the President , General Secretary, Treasurer and other special reports

(iii)           the formulation of policy

(iv)           the discussion of matters as per the agenda and

(v)            the consideration of appeals.

 

(g)   The President or, in his /her absence, the Vice-President or, in the latter’s absence, a person appointed by the Executive Council, shall preside over the proceedings at the National Congress. Resolutions of the National Congress shall be adopted by show of hands unless the National Congress decides otherwise. The President or other person presiding shall have a casting vote only.

 

(h)   Candidates for the positions of office-bearers and officials on the Executive Committee shall be nominated and seconded by delegates with voting rights at the National Congress. Should there be only one candidate for position, that candidate shall be regarded as having, been duly elected to that position. Should there be two candidates, a ballot of delegates shall be held and the candidate who receives the most votes shall be duly elected. Should there be three or more candidates; two or more ballots shall be held so that the candidates who receive the least votes in each ballot shall be eliminated from the next ballot.

 

(i)     A special National Congress shall be convened by the President wherever the Executive Committee requisitions one, or whenever the majority of all the respective branches in the Republic of South Africa request so in writing.

 

(j)     The requisition by branches for a Special National Congress shall be sent to the General Secretary at the head office and shall be accompanied by statement setting out the reasons for such a requisition. The General Secretary shall convey the requisition to the president as soon as possible.

 

(k)   Should reasons of urgency be given in the notice, the President may authorize the calling of a Special Congress at short notice, being not less than seven days. Branches shall be notified by the General Secretary of the convocation and agenda of a Special National Congress as soon as possible and by the best practical means.

 

(l)     The quorum at the National Congress shall be at least half of the delegates elected to represent the trade union members at the National Congress.

 

 

 

(2)   Executive Council

(a)   The Executive Council shall ordinarily meet at least every 3 (three) months on date to be fixed by the President. Special meetings of the Executive Council shall be called by the President whenever he/she deems it advisable or upon a requisition signed by not less than the majority of members of the council, in which event the meeting shall be called within 10 (ten)days of the receipt of requisition by the President.

(b)   Members of the Executive Committee shall be notified in writing of the time and place of meetings by the General Secretary at least 14 (fourteen) days before the dates of such meetings: provided that shorter notice, being not less than twenty four hours, may in the discretion of the President be given respect of special meetings. To every notice of meeting an agenda shall be attached. Unless otherwise provided herein, all matters for consideration by the Executive Council shall be decided on motion duly seconded and voted upon by show of hands.

(c)      The quorum for meetings of the Executive Council shall be the majority of members. If within 60 (sixty) minutes of the time fixed for any meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting shall stand adjourned to the same day in the week following (and if that day is a public holiday then the next succeeding working day) at the same time and place and at such adjourned meeting the members present shall form a quorum. Written notice of such adjourned meeting shall be given to members who were absent from the meeting.

(d)   If between meetings of the executive council any question arises which is of extreme urgency and can be answered by plain “yes” or “no” the President my authorize a vote of members of the Council to be taken by post.

(e)   No motion shall be considered unless seconded. All matters forming the subject of motions shall be voted upon by show of hands (unless otherwise provided) and shall be decided by the votes of the majority of those present.

 

(3)   Branch Meetings

(a)   A general meeting of members of each branch shall ordinarily be held at least once every year on a date to be fixed by the chairperson. Special general meetings shall be called whenever desired by majority of the members of the branch executive committee or upon a requisition signed by no less than fifty percent of the members of the branch. Such special general meeting shall be held within 14 (fourteen) days from the dates of the decision of the majority of the Branch Executive Committee or from the dare of receipt of requisition by the chqairperson.

(b)   Notice of every general meeting showing the business to be transacted at the meeting shall be given to members in writing by the Branch Secretary not less than 14 (fourteen) days before the date of such meeting: provided that shorter notice, being not less than 24 hours, may, in the discretion of the chairperson, be given in respect of special general meetings.

(c)    The annual general meeting of each branch shall be held in the month of June in each year or as soon as possible thereafter, but not later than the month of October.

(d)   If the Chairperson so decides all motions at a general meeting shall be reduced to writing and shall be delivered to the presiding officer to read to the meeting. No motion shall be considered unless seconded. All matters forming the subject of motions shall, unless otherwise provided herein, be voted upon by show of hands and shall, unless otherwise provided, be decided by the votes of a majority of those present except in case of elections when the candidates up to the required number receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected.

(e)   No member shall be allowed to speak for longer than ten minutes on any matter unless a majority of those present agrees.

(f)    Each Branch Executive Committee shall ordinarily meet at least once every month on a date to be fixed by the chairperson. Special meetings of a Branch Executive Committee shall be called by the chairperson whenever he/she deems it advisable or upon requisition signed by not less than half of the members of the committee, in which event the meeting shall be called within 14 (fourteen) days of receipt of requisition by the chairperson.

(g)   Members of a Branch Executive Committee shall be notified in writing of the time and place of meetings of the committee by the Branch Secretary at least 10 (ten) days before the dates of such meetings: provided that shorter notice, being not less than 48 hours, may, in discretion of the chairperson, be given in respect of special meetings. To every notice of meeting an agenda shall be attached. All matters for consideration by a branch executive committee shall be decided on motion duly seconded and voted upon by show of hands.

(h)   The quorum for Branch General Manager shall be 30 percent of the members of the branch and for meetings of the branch executive committee the majority of members of the committee. If within 60minutes of the fixed time of any meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting shall stand adjourned to the same day ( and if that day is a holiday then the next succeeding working day) in the week following at the same time and place, and at such adjourned meeting the members present shall form a quorum. Written notice of adjourned meetings shall be given by the Branch Secretary to those members who were absent from the first meeting.

(i)     At every general meeting the minutes of the last preceding general meeting shall be read by the Branch Secretary and signed by the presiding officer after confirmation. Minutes of meetings of the branch executive committee shall be similarly dealt with by that body.

(j)     Copies of minutes of branch meetings and meetings of branch executive committees shall be submitted to the executive council immediately after confirmation.

(k)   The proceedings of any meeting shall be invalidated by reason of non-receipt by any member of notice of meeting. 

 

(4)   Minutes

The General Secretary of the trade union or person appointed by him/her shall keep minutes of all meeting of the Executive Council and of the National Congress and the Branch Secretary or a person appointed by him/her shall keep minutes of all Branch Executive Meetings and general meetings of a branch.

 

 

 

11.  EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

(1)   The management of the affairs of the trade union between National Congress shall be vested in the Executive Committee consisting of the President, the Vice-President, in absence of the President, then acting president, the General Secretary, his/her assistant, Treasurer and one other member of the union who shall hold office for two years and thereafter until the next election, and they shall be eligible for re-election on termination of their period of office.

(2)   Vacancies occurring on the Executive Council shall be filled by a ballot of the members of the trade union. A member appointed to fill a vacancy shall hold office for the unexpired portion of office of his/her predecessor.

(3)   Nominations for membership of the Executive Council shall be lodged in writing by branches with the general secretary at least 3 months prior to the National Congress. Where a vacancy occurs on the Executive Council the branches shall be notified in writing of such a vacancy by the General Secretary within two weeks of the date on which the vacancy occurred. The nomination of members to fill such a vacancy shall be ledged in writing with the General Secretary by the branches within one month of that date and a ballot shall be taken within two months of that date. A member elected to fill a vacancy shall hold office for the unexpired portion of the period of office his/her predecessor.

(4)   A member of the Executive Council shall vacate his/her seat in any one of the following circumstances:

(a)   on resignation suspension or expulsion from membership of the trade union

(b)   on absenting himself/herself without the permission of the Executive Council from three executive meetings of the Council

(c)    on resignation as a member of the Executive Council by giving  one months’ written notice to the General Secretary

(5)   The Executive Council shall, subject to provisions of this constitution, have power,

(a)   to recommend the trade union’s participation in the establishment of a bargaining or statutory council and, subject to the constitution of any bargaining or statutory council, to determine the trade union’s representation therein

(b)   to engage and dismiss, expect where otherwise provided in this constitution, any employees of the trade union, including a General Secretary, to fix their remuneration and to define their duties

(c)    to appoint , from time to time, such committees as it may deem fit for the purpose of investigating and reporting on any matter referred to them by the national congress

(d)   to review decisions of branch executive committees or branch general meetings, and to confirm, alter or reverse such decisions

(e)   to institute legal proceedings on behalf of or to defend proceedings against the trade union

(f)    to acquire, either by purchase, lease or otherwise, any available or immovable property on behalf of the trade union, and to sell, let, mortgage or otherwise deal with or dispose of any movable or immovable property belonging to the union; provided that no immovable property shall be acquired or sold, nor shall it be mortgaged, let or leased for a period longer than ten years, unless 4 (four) weeks’ written notice  of the intention to do so has been given to each branch of the trade union by the General Secretary, and if during this period any branch meeting demands that a ballot of the whole trade union be taken on the proposed action, such a ballot can be taken

(g)   to institute legal proceedings on behalf of or provide legal assistance to members on matters affecting their employment and to institute legal proceedings against individual members

(h)   to open and operate a banking account in the name of the trade union

(i)     to establish or close down branches in any area, and to define the jurisdiction of branches

(j)     to suspend any branch executive committee for action contrary to the terms of this Constitution or to instructions issued by the executive council, and to take over management of the affairs of the branch until another Branch Committee is appointed

(k)   to make and enforce by-laws relating to procedural, administrative and disciplinary matters, which are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution , Labour Relations Act, 1995, or any other law

(l)     to decide all matters of procedure on which this Constitution is silent

(m) to do such other lawful things as, in the opinion of the executive council appear to be in the interest of the trade union or its members which are not inconsistent with the objects set out in clause 4 or any matter specifically provided for in this Constitution and

(n)   to consider appeals.

 

12.  OFFICE-BEARERS , OFFICIALS AND TRADE UNION REPRESENTATTIVES

The duties of office bearers, officials and trade union representatives

 

(1)   Office-bearers

(a)   President: the president shall preside at all meetings at which he/she is present, enforce observation of the Constitution of the trade union, implement the objects of the Constitution, sign minutes of the meetings after confirmation, endorse all accounts for payment after approval by the executive council, sign all cheques  on the banking account of the trade union, generally exercise supervision over the affairs of the trade union and perform other such duties as by usage and custom pertain to the office. He/she shall not have a deliberate vote, but shall, in the event of an equality of votes, have a casting vote.

(b)   Vice-President: the vice-President shall exercise the powers and perform the duties of the President in the absence of the latter

(c)    Acting President: in the event of both the President and vice-President being unable, either temporarily or permanently, perform their duties , the Executive Council shall appoint a member of the trade union to act as President, who shall hold the office until the President or vice-President is able to assume his/her duties in the event of the president and vice-president being permanently unable to perform their duties, until a new President or vice-President has been elected at the National Congress.

 

(2)   Officials

(a)   General Secretary:

(i)              The General Secretary shall receive requisitions for meetings of the National Congress and the Executive Council, issue notice of meetings, conduct all head office correspondence of the trade union, keep originals of letters  received and copies of those dispatched, and at each meeting of national congress or executive council lay on the table correspondence which has taken place since the previous meeting, attend all National Congress and Executive Council meetings and record meetings of the proceedings, issue official receipts for all monies received, submit reports in regard to the financial position of the trade union to the National Congress and to the Executive Council not less than every 3 (three) months, represent the trade union at the commission and perform such other duties as imposed by this Constitution or as the National Congress and Executive Council may direct. He/she shall attend all meetings of the Executive Council but shall have no voting power at such meetings

(ii)            In addition to ten duties laid down in paragraph (i) above the General Secretary shall perform the duties imposed on him/her by sections 98, 99 and 100 of the Labour Relations Act, 1995 relating to the keeping of records and the furnishing of information to the Registrar.

(iii)           The General Secretary may resin on giving one months’ notice  in writing to the Executive Council and his/her service may be terminated on a similar period of notice being given to him/her by the council. The contract of service of the General Secretary shall be in writing

 

(b)   Assistant Secretary

The Executive Council may appoint an Assistant Secretary who shall assist the General Secretary in the execution of his/her duties. Should the general secretary be unable to perform his/her duties the Assistant Secretary shall act as General Secretary until such a time he/she is able to assume his/her duties. The provisions of paragraph (a) above shall mutatis mutandis apply to the Assistant Secretary.

 

 

 

(c)    Treasurer

(i)              The Treasurer shall be responsible for ensuring that the financial administration of the union is in compliance with the constitution and administrative policies of the union.

(ii)            Shall endorse all accounts for payment and perform all other duties as by usage an custom pertain to such office

(iii)           Shall regularly check  that the financial files and books of the union are in proper order

(iv)           Shall ensure that regular financial statements and reports are tabled at each Executive Council meeting

(v)            Shall be responsible for ensuring that the administration of membership is maintained.

 

(d)   Organisers

The Executive Council may appoint an organiser or organisers. The main duties of the organiser(s) will be to enroll members, to investigate complaints from members regarding their employment as such, to represent the trade union and its members at the Commission, to collect membership fees and perform such duties as the Executive Council may direct. The provisions of paragraph (iii) above shall mutatis mutandis apply to organisers.

 

(e)   Trade Union Representatives

(i)              The trade union representatives shall implement and give effect to decisions of the National Congress, Executive Council or the Branch Executive Committee, recruit members and generally promote their interests, represent members in matters before the Commission and collect membership fees.

(ii)            In terms of section 14(4) of the Labour Relations Act,1995, the trade union representative shall:

                      (aa) at the request of the employee in the workplace, assist and

                         represent the employee in grievance and disciplinary hearings

                (ab) monitor the employer’s compliance with any law regulating terms

                        and conditions of employment

                (ac) report any alleged contravention of any law regulating terms and

                        conditions of employment to the employer, trade union or any

                         responsible authority or agency and

                 (ad)  perform any other functions as the executive may direct

 

 

(f)    Union Representative in the Labour Courts

Any official or office-bearer shall have the right to represent members in the Labour Courts.

 

13.  ESTABLISHMENT AND CONTROL OF BRANCHES AND TRADE UNION REPRESEANTATIVES COUNCILS

 

(1)   Branches

(a)   A branch of the trade union may be established in any area where there are not less than 200 members of the trade union

(b)   Application for the establishment of a branch shall be made, in writing, to the Executive Council by not less than 200 members in the area concerned.

(c)    The Executive Council may in its discretion authorise the establishment of a branch and define its area of jurisdiction

(d)   If the Executive Council approves of the establishment of a branch, the General Secretary shall notify the members from whom the application has been received and the Executive Council shall arrange for one of its members or a nominee to attend the inaugural meeting of the branch. At this meeting nominations for membership of a Branch Executive Committee and for a branch secretary shall be called and the election shall take place by ballot. The persons so elected shall hold office till the annual general meeting of the branch.

(e)   The executive council shall have the right t depute one or more of its members to investigate the affairs of any branch at any time and such a member or members shall have access to all records of the branch and have the power to take then in custody

(f)    When a member leaves the area of jurisdiction of any branch and continues he/she shall be entitled to become a member shall be entitled to become a member of the latter.

 

(2)   Branch Office-Bearers and Officials

(a)   The management of the affairs of the branch between general meetings shall be vested in a branch executive committee consisting of a chairperson, vice-chairperson, branch secretary and one other member of the branch who shall be elected on nomination duly seconded and voted upon by ballot at the annual general meeting of the branch. They shall hold office until the next annual general meeting of the branch, and be eligible for re-election on termination of their period of office. The chairperson and vice-chairperson of the executive committee shall ipso facto be chairperson and vice-chairperson of the branch.

(b)   Vacancies occurring on the branch executive committee shall be filled at the first ensuring general meeting on nomination duly voted upon by ballot. Where a vacancy occurs subsequent to the date on which the notice of then meeting as issued, it shall be submitted in writing to the branch secretary at least 14 (fourteen) days before the meeting. A member appointed to fill a vacancy shall hold office for the unexpired portion of his/her predecessor.

(c)    Nominations for membership of a branch executive committee shall be lodged in writing with the branch secretary at least 14 (fourteen) days before the date of the branch meeting

(d)   A branch executive committee shall , subject to general direction and control of branch general meetings and to the provisions of this Constitution, have power

(i)              to admit or refuse to admit persons to membership of trade union and to suspend, fine or expel any member for cause appearing sufficient to a majority of the executive committee

(ii)            to deal with disputes between members and their employers and endeavor to settle disputes

(iii)           to appoint from time to time, such subcommittees as it may deem fit for the purpose of investigating and reporting on matters referred to them by the Executive Committee

(iv)           to open and operate a banking account in the name of the branch, and

(v)            to do such lawful things as in the opinion of the executive committee, as in the interest of the trade union or its members and which are not inconsistent with the objects set out in clause 4 or any matter specifically provided for in the Constitution. 

(e)   Branch office-bearers shall mutatis mutandis perform the same duties in respect of the branch concerned as are imposed on office-bearers of the trade union.

(f)    A branch secretary shall be elected on nomination duly seconded and  voted upon by ballot of members at the annual general meeting of the branch, shall hold office until the next annual general meeting and shall be eligible for re-election. He/she may resign on giving one months’ notice in writing to the branch executive committee and his/her services may be terminated on a similar period of notice being given to him/her by the committee. He/she may be summarily discharged by the committee for serious neglect of duty or misconduct. In the event of the office becoming vacant, the Branch Committee shall appoint a temporary incumbent who shall hold the office until the next ensuing general meeting, when a new secretary shall be elected on nomination duly seconded and voted upon by ballot of members. The new secretary shall hold office until the next annual general meeting

(g)   In addition to any other duties imposed on him/her by this Constitution or by the branch executive committee or general meeting, a branch secretary shall mutatis mutandis perform the same duties as are imposed upon the general secretary. He/she shall also collect membership fees, fines, and levies and bank all monies within 3 (three) days of receipt. The Branch Secretary shall attend all branches general and executive meetings but shall have no voting power at executive meetings.

(3)   Trade Union Representative Councils (Shop stewards Councils)

(a)   A trade union representative council may be established in any workplace where the trade union has not less than 50 members

(b)   Application for the establishment of a trade union representative council shall be made, in writing, to the branch executive committee by not less than 50 members in the workplace concerned.

(c)    If the branch Executive Committee approve of the establishment of a trade union representative council the Branch Secretary shall notify the members from which the application has been received and arrange for then inaugural meeting. At this meeting nomination for membership of the trade union representative council shall be called and the election shall take place by ballot. The Executive Committee shall consist of a Chairperson, vice-Chairperson, Secretary and additional members as may be decided by the meeting.

(d)   Generally the trade union representative council shall meet once a month and may be convened by the Executive Committee whenever necessary

(e)   The main duties of the trade union representative council shall be to implement and give effect to decisions of the National Congress, executive or the branch committee, recruit members and promote their interest, investigate complaints from members in their workplace, represent members on the Commission and collect membership fees.

 

14.  REMOVAL OF OFFICE-BEARERS,OFFICIAL AND TRADE UNION REPRESENTATIVES

(1)   An office-bearer, official or trade union representative may be removed from office:

(a)   If he/she infringes any provision of this Constitution, and

(b)   If he/she acts in a manner which is detrimental to the interests of the trade union

(2)   No office bearer, official or union representative may be removed from office unless he/she has been afforded an opportunity to state his/her case personally at the Branch Executive Committee in the case where the trade union representative council is concerned or personally at a meeting of the Executive Council in the case where a Branch Executive office-bearer of official is concerned and at a meeting consisting of Branch Executive Committee where an executive council office-bearer in concerned.

(3)   An office-bearer, official or trade union representative who has appeared before the application body and who is dissatisfied with the decision of the body concerned shall have the right to appeal as follows:

(a)   In the case of a trade union representative, to the branch general meeting. Notice of appeal shall be given to the branch secretary, in writing, within 7 (seven) days on which the decision of the Branch Executive Committee was communicated to the person c concerned. The branch general meeting may reverse the decision of the branch Executive Committee and the decision of the branch general meeting shall be final.

(b)   In the case of an office-bearer or official of a branch, to a meeting of Branch Executive Committees. Notice of an appeal shall be given to the general secretary, in writing, within 7 (seven) days of the date on which the decision of the Executive Council as communicated to the person concerned. The meeting of branch Executive Committees may reverse the decision of the Executive Council and the decision of the meeting shall be final.

(c)    In the case of an office-bearer or official of the Executive Council, to the National Congress of the trade union. The appeal shall be noted in the agenda of the National Congress and the National Congress may reverse the decision of the meeting of the Branch Executive Committees and the decision of the national congress shall be final.

15.  BALLOTS

(1)   In addition to those cases in respect of which the taking of a ballot of members of the whole trade union or of a branch is compulsory in terms of this constitution, a ballot on any question shall be taken if the Executive Council so decided, and shall be taken:

(a)   if demanded by a branch

(b)   on any proposal to declare or take part in any strike

(2)   Ballots shall be conducted in the following manner:

(a)   Notice of the ballot shall be given to each member of the branch in writing by the branch secretary, at least three days before the ballot is to be taken: Provided that a ballot shall be taken without notice at any general meeting on decision of a majority of members present

(b)   Two scrutineers shall be appointed by the Branch Executive Committee or general meeting to supervise an ballot and to ascertain the result thereof

(c)    Except in cases of postal ballots taken at general meetings on the decision of the members present, ballots shall be conducted at various branch offices of the trade union or such places may be specified in the notice referred to in paragraph (a) of this sub clause on the date and during the hour specified in the said notice.

(d)   Ballot papers shall be supplied to the Branch Secretaries by the General Secretary. The issue to be voted upon shall be set forth clearly on the ballot papers and shall not contain any information by means of which it will be possible to identify the voter.

(e)   Ballot boxes shall be inspected by the scrutineers and sealed by the Branch Secretary in their presence prior to issuing of ballot papers.

(f)    One ballot paper shall be issued on demand at the place and during the hours fixed for the ballot to each member of the branch who is entitled to vote

(g)   Each member shall, in the presence of srutineers be issued with a ballot paper, which he/she shall thereupon complete, fold and deposit in the ballot box provided for the purpose

(h)   Ballot papers shall not be marked in any way apart from the mark required to be made by a member in recording his/her vote. Papers bearing any other marks shall be regarded as spoiled and shall not be counted.

(i)     On completion of  ballot or as soon as possible thereafter, the result thereof in respect of each branch shall be ascertained by the scrutineers appointed for such branch in the presence of the Branch Secretary and made known to the Branch Executive Committee which shall as soon as possible advise the Executive Council.

(j)     Ballot papers, including spoilt papers shall be placed in a container, which shall be sealed after they had been counted and retained by the Branch Secretary not less than 3 (three) years.

(3)   The executive council may decide that a postal ballot of members shall be taken in which event the ballot shall be conducted in the following manner:

(a)   The General Secretary shall send by registered post to each member of the trade union a ballot paper and a stamped and addressed envelope marked “Ballot”. The ballot paper shall on completion be inserted in the envelope provided for the purpose and shall be sealed and posted so as to reach the general secretary within fifty( 50)days from the date of dispatch from head office to such member. On receipt of such envelopes, the General Secretary shall immediately place such envelopes in a sealed ballot box.

(b)   The same procedure shall “mutatis mutandis” apply to a postal ballot confined to members of the Executive Council or any branch or branch of the trade union. 

(4)   In any ballot conducted in connection with any election candidates, up to the required number, receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected.

(5)   The national congress, the executive council  or the Branch Executive Committee shall be bound to take action according to the decision of a majority of members voting in a ballot

(6)   The trade union shall, before calling a strike, conduct a ballot of those of its members in respect of whom it intends to strike

(7)   Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Constitution, members of the trade union shall not be disciplined or have their membership terminated for failure or refusal to participate in a strike action if:

(a)   no ballot was held about a strike, or

(b)   a ballot was held but a majority of the members who voted did not vote in favour of the strike.

 

16.  FINANCE

(1)   Head Office

(a)   The acquisition and control of funds of the traded union shall be applied to the payment of expenses, to the property, towards the attainment of the  objects specified in clause 3 and for such other lawful purposes as may be decided upon by the National Congress or the Executive Council or by members voting by ballot for the attainment of the said  objects

(b)   The funds received by the general secretary on behalf of the trade union shall be deposited to its credit within 3 (three) days of receipt , at a bank decided upon by the Executive Council

(c)    Payment shall require the prior approval of the Executive Council and shall be made by cheque signed by the President and the General Secretary, except when the amount I question is less than R100, 00 when payment may be made from petty cash. In the absence of the President or General Secretary cheques shall in his/her stead be signed by 3 (three) members of the executive council appointed by it for that purpose

(d)   The financial year of the trade union shall end on February 28 every year

(2)   Branch

(a)   Membership fees and levies shall be collected by the branch secretary or such other persons empowered to do so

(b)   All monies shall be deposited within 3 (three) days of receipt by the Branch Secretary to the credit of the branch in a bank decided upon by the branch Executive Committee 40% of membership fees only and 100% of all other monies collected on behalf of the trade union shall be remitted to the general secretary monthly

(c)    Remittances to the general secretary shall be accompanied by statements showing the names of members from whom collected, the amount paid by each member, the names of members, if any, whose membership fees are in arrears and the amount of such arrears. The statements shall also detail any arrears. The statements shall also detail any arrears. The statements shall also detail any arrears payments made by members.

(d)   Branches may apply the funds belonging to them to the payment expenses and towards the attainment of the objects specified in clause 3 as may be determined by the branch executive: provided that expenditure in excess of R1500,00 shall not be incurred except with the approval of and subject to such conditions as may be determined by the executive council.

(e)   If any branch incurs expenditure except as provided for in this Constitution, the members present at the meeting at which such expenditure was agreed to shall be jointly and severally liable for refunding the amount in question: Provided that no liability shall rest on the members who at the time specially requested that their protest against incurring of such expenditure be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

(f)    If any branches cease to exist as such, its assets as liabilities shall devolve on the trade union.

 

(3)   General

(a)   Statement of income and expenditure reflecting the financial position  of the branch shall be prepared quarterly by each  branch secretary and submitted to his/her branch executive committee and to the executive council. Similar statements in respect of the trade union funds shall be prepared quarterly by the general secretary and submitted to the executive council. The general secretary shall also be responsible for furnishing the national congress with the trade unions’ latest financial statements.

(b)   In accordance with the provisions of section 98 (1) (b) of the Labour Relations Act of 1995,the general secretary and each branch secretary shall prepare a statement of income and expenditure and a balance sheet in respect of each financial year ending on 28 February. Such statement and balance sheet shall be audited and dealt with as required by section 98(2) of the Act.

(c)    Legal and other professional expenses shall be borne equally by the trade union and the branch concerned

(d)   Stationery and printed matter shall be supplied to branches by the executive council at cost price

(e)   A member who resigns or is expelled from membership shall have no claim on the funds of the union

(f)    The executive council shall, subject to confirmation by the national congress, have the power to invest surplus trade union monies in such manner that the union stands to benefit from the investments.

 

17.  REPRESENTATION ON BARGANING AND STATUTORY COUNCIL

(1)   The executive council may at any time recommend that the trade union shall become a party to a bargaining or statutory council established in terms of the Labour Relations Act, 1995.

(2)   Representatives and their alternates shall be appointed by the executive council

(3)   Representatives and their alternates on a bargaining or statutory council may be removed by the national congress or branch general meetings, and may resign on giving one months’ notice to the executive council or such notice as may be prescribed in the constitution of the council concerned.

(4)   In the event of the resignation or death of a representative or an alternate or his/her removal by the national congress or a branch general meeting the vacancy shall be filled by the executive council.

(5)   Representatives and their alternates shall have full power to enter into agreements on behalf of the trade union, and such agreements shall not be subject to ratification by the executive council or national congress

 

18.  CHANGING OF CONSTITUTION

(1)   Any of the provisions of this Constitution may be repealed, changed or added to in any manner by the resolution of the executive council of the trade union: Provided that at least fourteen days’ notice of any proposed change(s) shall first have been given to the branches. If within that period a branch demands that a ballot of the whole trade union be taken on the matter, such a ballot shall be taken.

(2)   No changes or additions shall have any force or effect until certified in terms of section 101(3) of the Labour Relations Act, 1995

 

19.  WINDING UP

(1)   The trade union shall be wound up if at a ballot conducted in the manner prescribed in the Constitution not less than three-fourths of the total number of the trade union vote in favor of  a resolution that the organisation be wound up

(2)   If a resolution for winding-up of the trade union has been passed or if for any reason the trade union is unable to continue to function the following provisions shall apply:

 

(a)   the latest appointed president of the trade union, or if he/she is not available, the available members of the last appointed executive council of the trade union shall forthwith transmit to the Labour Court a statement signed by him/her or them setting forth the resolution adopted or the reasons for the trade unions’ inability to continue to function, as the case may be, and request the Labour Court to grant an order in terms of section 103 of the Labour Relations Act, 1995.

(b)   (i) The liquidator appointed by the Labour Court shall call upon the last appointed office-bearers of the trade union to deliver to him/her the trade unions’ books of accounts showing the assets and liabilities together with the register showing, for the 12 months prior to the date on which the resolution for winding-up was passed or to the date from which the trade union was unable to continue to function, as the case may be, (hereinafter referred to as the date of dissolution), the membership fees paid by each member and his/her address as at the said date.

(ii)The liquidator shall also call upon the said office-bearers to hand over to him/her all unexpended funds of the trade union and to deliver to him/her the trade unions’ assets and documents necessary to liquidate the assets

 

(c)    The liquidator shall take the necessary steps to liquidate the debts of the trade union from its unexpended funds and any other monies realised from any assets of the trade union, and if the said funds and monies are insufficient to pay all creditors after the liquidator’s fees and the expenses of winding-up have been met, the order in which creditors are paid shall be the same as that prescribed in any law for the time being in force relating to the distribution of the assets of an insolvent estate, and the liquidator’s fees and the expenses of winding-up shall rank in order as that of an insolvent estate and as though the expenses were the cost of sequestration of an insolvent estate.

(d)   After the payment of all debts in accordance with (c), the remaining funds shall be distributed among remaining members of the trade union on the basis of membership fees paid during the 12 months prior to the date of dissolution.

(e)   After the payment of the liabilities, any assets that cannot be disposed of in accordance with this provision of this clause shall be realised by the liquidator and the proceeds paid to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (in accordance with section 103 (5) of the Labour Relations Act,1995

(f)    The liability of members shall for the purpose of this clause be limited to the amount of membership fees due by them to the trade union in terms of this Constitution as at the date of dissolution.

PRESIDENT                                                                                                               GENERAL SECRETARY

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