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Cosatu threatens Mugg & Bean with legal action

The trade union federation says it has received complaints from waiters at several franchisees across the country who say their salaries fail to meet the minimum wage requirement.

Picture: facebook.com

JOHANNESBURG - Cosatu says it will be reporting the Mugg & Bean restaurant group to the CCMA for violating labour regulations with regards to wages and working conditions.

It also claims management is threatening staff with dismissal if they speak out.

The trade union federation says it has received complaints from waiters at several franchisees across the country who say their salaries fail to meet the minimum wage requirement.

The union says staff members have also reported that they pay a breakage fee every day which is deducted from their salaries, in breach of labour regulations.

Cosatu's parliamentary coordinator Matthew Parks says they have reported the matter to the Labour Department.

“We will also be engaging Mugg & Bean’s owner to put pressure on their franchise holders. There are Mugg & Bean operations that are victimising workers’ rights to negotiate and raise concerns on being paid a minimum wage.”

In a response to questions from Eyewitness News, Mugg & Bean stated it does not tolerate any infringements to employee rights.

"When it was brought to our attention over a month ago that two Mugg & Bean Restaurants were non-compliant with the Minimum Wage Act, we immediately launched an investigation into this matter as non-compliance is absolutely unacceptable and we take this exceptionally seriously.

"Both franchisees have subsequently worked closely with the Bargaining Council and the Department of Labour over the past month and we can confirm that both restaurants are now fully compliant with the minimum wage legislation.

"Our investigation also confirmed that the franchisees had both been charging staff a monthly flat breakage fee. We do not believe these deductions had been fairly applied and as such took stringent action, both franchisees were issued legal letters. We can confirm that this practice is not applied in both restaurants."

The company says it embarked on a proactive audit across all restaurants nationally over a month ago to ensure compliance.

"We anticipate this audit will be complete in the next few weeks. We can also confirm that we have no evidence/knowledge of any threatening of staff at any of our restaurants."

LISTEN: Penalties and amendments: What you need to know about the minimum wage

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)