NEHAWU statement on the Siyahlala day of action

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] is organising the Siyahlala Day of Action tomorrow [Friday August 28, 2020] as an integral part of the national programme of action to protect and defend its members and workers against infection by the coronavirus.

The national union is calling on and encourage all its members and workers to stay away from work because employers have neglected their duty of providing and maintaining workplaces that are safe and without risk to the health of workers.

The aim of the action is to send a clear message to the employer that workers are tired of being anxious and constantly fearing for their lives while saving the lives of others. Workers are suffering from extreme exhaustion because we have a historical understaffing problem which has been exacerbated by the fact many workers need to go on self-isolation because they are recklessly exposed to the virus by employers. In this regard, workers need to stay away from work for one day because they are tired and they fear for their lives.

The Siyahlala Day of Action will afford workers some time to rest and recharge their batteries. Moreover, the day will also be used to highlight workers anger at the non-implementation of PSCBC Resolution 1 of 2018 especially clause 3.3 which speaks to the salary increase of public servants. Workers have been patient for far too long and they want to send a message to government that they will not fold their arms while government reneges on implementing a binding collective agreement.

NEHAWU refuses to stand idle while its members and workers are getting infected on a daily basis because of employers who blatantly refuse to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety [OHS] Act and to provide adequate quality Personal Protective Equipment [PPEs] to workers.

We can no longer standby while our members and workers are on a daily basis contracting the virus while others are succumbing to it because employers are neglecting their role of providing a safe workplace environment for workers. The same government that is telling workers that there is no money for salary increases is busy losing billions of rands to corruption including losing money meant to procure PPEs meant for front line workers.

The failures by government and other employers to respond adequately to our demands of protecting workers from the coronavirus has necessitated that we embark on the Siyahlala Day of Action and as such we call on all our members and workers to stay away from work tomorrow as it’s no longer safe at the workplace.

NEHAWU SAYS “Workers tomorrow must wake up and sleep again, akungenwa ngomso”

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 082 455 2500 or email: