The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has noted the disturbing reports of violent incidents and destruction of property by the striking public service workers. While we fully support the striking workers and believe that their fight is a legitimate one, we regret the disruption to public services which the strike has caused and any violent incidents or damage to property.
We urge our members on strike to continue to conduct their strike in a peaceful, disciplined, and lawful manner. As members of a trade union federation guided by the principles of socialism, we must always be guided by the principles of working-class solidarity and remember that discipline goes hand in hand with working-class consciousness.
We urge members and workers to remember that a strike is an act in defense of working-class interests, and it must not result in working-class communities who use these public facilities becoming the unintended casualties of it.
The Federation will never condone acts of violence by anyone, but we also do not accept that all unfortunate incidents can be blamed on striking workers. The police and management should avoid provocative actions that antagonize workers and poison the environment.
We urge employers to sit down with unions at PSCBC to find an amicable solution. The employer should engage unions in good faith and realise that the consequences of a full-blown strike will be devastating for the economy and public services.
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794