The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) has been voted the Best Yard in Gauteng province by the Provincial Congress of the Communications Workers Union (CWU) for outstanding performance in dealing with labour related matters. Out of over 42 companies within the ICT industry, SAMRO was awarded the top spot.

The announcement was made during the Gauteng Provincial Congress of Communications Workers’ Union, which is hosted once in every three years. In the past two years, SAMRO was able to resolve labour related matters without third party involvement. 

“As the representatives of communications workers, we are pleased to see the progress that  SAMRO has made in the organisation’s approach to labour matters, especially in a country rife with conflict between the workers and the employer,” said Aubrey Tshabalala, the Provincial Secretary for the Communications Workers Union.

According to Tshabalala the awards recognise diversity and equality in the representation of workers’ needs and in the way workers’ grievances are handled. 

In less than three years, SAMRO has managed to improve the way in which the organisation deals with labour matters. Through educational interventions and involvement of employees and the union in key decision making, the organisation was able to turn around its strategy and approach to employee engagement.

Tshabalala noted that these awards play a key role in appreciating the relationship between employers and workers and present a platform for a festival of ideas from which employers can draw from in order to improve engagement with workers.  “It is inspiring and encouraging seeing SAMRO’s efforts in realigning their processes for the benefit of employees and their growth.”.”There are key learning’s to draw from some of the top achievers such as SAMRO, especially in their approach to engaging unions on labour matters,” said Tshabalala.

Edwin Mpashe, CWU Chairperson at SAMRO said, “SAMRO’s approach to employee engagement through unions is focused on involving employees from the onset of policy or strategy development, thereby ensuring two-way engagement rather than a top-down relationship.”

He added that it is the union’s wish that all companies should openly engage employees, deliberate and disagree on issues openly to find appropriate resolutions internally without having to refer matters to third parties for mediation or arbitration. 

 “We are honoured to have been recognised for this award. The past two years have been a great learning curve for us, and we will continue to engage with our employees and identify areas that need improvement to grow the business and our employees,” said Tiyani Maluleke, General Manager, Marketing at SAMRO.