COSATU statement on the Labour Court decision to interdict the Financial Sector Strike on Friday

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted the decision by the court to interdict the planned Financial Strike that was organised by Sasbo and COSATU.We totally disagree with the court’s decision but we respect our judicial system so we will abide by the decision while launching an urgent appeal against this ruling.

We call on all our members and workers who were ready to go on strike tomorrow to respect the court’s decision and report for work tomorrow but remain battle-ready for the battle ahead. The battle has only been postponed and not cancelled.

COSATU followed all the necessary processes and Nedlac issued the certificate to strike. Nedlac was cited as a third responded in the BUSA application and its failure to defend its decision is telling. We respect Nedlac and we hope that they get their house in order because the integrity and reputation of Nedlac are important and they are the currency that the institution has. If Nedlac continues to fail the workers, we will see a proliferation of unsanctioned strikes.

The Federation is unperturbed by this minor setback and will also be resubmitting at NEDLAC to apply for another Section 77 Strike Certificate. The Federation is going to use this postponement to intensify its mobilisation and also engage with other unions and civil society organisations to join the strike at a later date.

The business lobby group BUSA should know this is a pyrrhic victory. The court’s decision has only served to delay the inevitable. Workers will not be cowed and intimidated by this but will only be energised to settle this score and organise a much bigger shutdown of the Financial Sector.

The era of an unaccountable private sector is over and we are no longer going to rely on using the state to discipline capital. The hysterical reaction by BUSA, BASA and the silence from the government has convinced us that we are on the right track. We have touched a raw nerve by targeting the banks.

We accept this challenge from this unholy alliance and we will respond with the full might of the working class. The toxic South African Financial Sector that has enjoyed unparalleled support and protection from the government has the attention of the workers and their federation now.

COSATU reiterates its call to all its members and workers, in general, to remain battle-ready so that we can respond to challenge that has been launched by BUSA. BUSA has become a shop steward of retrenchments in this country and the workers have been notified. The silence and indifference of government in the face of a jobs bloodbath has also been noted.

Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)

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