All workers and citizens should support the NEHAWU protest action on Monday to pressure the government because a full-blown public service strike will affect innocent third parties such as patients in hospitals

The Congress of South African Trade Unions invites all workers and South Africans to support the NEHAWU protest action at the union buildings on Monday, September 21, 2020. This is a follow-up action in response to President Cyril Ramaphosa unsatisfactory reply to a memorandum of demands that was presented to him at the beginning of this month. 

It is disappointing that the Presidency has failed to take the issues raised in the memorandum seriously and treat them as priority demands. The fact that more than 30 000 workers have contracted the deadly coronavirus with more than 250 of them losing their lives is unacceptable. 

These public service workers are treated very badly, they are made sacrificial lambs by the National Treasury in its quest to attain its ambitious fiscal target. The Federation reiterates its call on the government to give workers their bonuses and a risk allowance and also implement Resolution 1 of 2018 especially Clause 3.3. 

These same public servants are not only contributing to the fight against COVID-19 but are making a massive contribution to help pull the country from the brink of economic meltdown. They build the infrastructure on which we build our economy ensures the safety and security of our people, and provide for the development, care, and welfare of all the citizens. 

By undermining collective bargaining, the government is transforming what supposed to be about mutual problem-solving and social partnership and creating an antagonistic and adversarial relationships.

There is no need for government to cause major and extended labour unrest if it is committed to pulling this country out of the crisis. This blatant provocation will only worsen an already bad situation. 

The Federation is inviting all citizens to support this action on Monday because a full-blown public service strike will affect innocent third parties such as patients in hospitals and children at school.

What we will not allow is for this weakening of collective bargaining to succeed because it will lead collective begging. The public servants deserve better for the contribution and the services they provide to millions of our people. But this government intransigence is testing their patience and they are starting to say, enough is enough. We have shown our capacity to mobilize and strike where it hurts, and the government has been warned.

The ANC should be worried that its government has evolved into a Free Market Foundation. Five years ago, the Federation was fighting the Free Market Foundation in its attempt to undermine Collective Bargaining, in courts, but today the offensive against collective bargaining is being led by the ANC government. The ANC government needs to fix this and fix it fast.

Issued by COSATU

 Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)

Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794