Johannesburg – Thousands of workers are expected to take to the streets on Wednesday for a one day strike as the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) plans to make the country “ungovernable”.

On April 12 the union marched around parliament and handed over a memorandum of demands but are now not satisfied with the response, saying it did not address their concerns and workers will embark on nationwide action to put pressure on members of parliament to reject several labour bills making their way through parliament.

Saftu, led by general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, was formed exactly one year ago.

Details of the planned strike:

When: Wednesday 25 April 2018

Who is expected to take part: According to unaudited figures, Saftu has 800 000 members. The largest affiliate is the biggest trade union in SA, the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) with approximately 300 000 members, mostly in the manufacturing sector.

Saftu is disgruntked with the planned implementation of the mininumwage of R3500 calling it a slave wage, they are also going to take the streets the labour law amendments, where parliament is planning to amend the Labour Relations Act‚ the Basic Conditions of Employment Act‚ and the new National Minimum Wage Bill.

Saftu spokesperson Patrick Craven speaking to Fin24 said, “Various amendments to labour laws will make it incredibly difficult to strike, it’s already quite difficult,”

Craven referring to the minimum wage he said, “We want a living wage, we haven’t set a specific figure [but] we were very impressed with Marikana Lonmin workers who wanted R12 500. R20 is an insult to their memory,”

Saftu strike is also in relation to their membership with Nedlac, they still have not been recognized, and were not part of the negotiation table when minimum wage talks involved key stakeholders. The federation has not been admitted because they do not have audited membership figures and financial statements that is required.

Craven said all should join,  he said, “We want everyone to join, in particular appealing to rank and file members [of other unions], many of them will be disgusted that their leaders voted for the [labour law] changes, without a mandate.”

Photo Credit- Mail & Guardian


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