SACCAWU in support of its federation Cosatu joins in the national demonstrations to mark the World Day for Decent Work planned for 06 October 2023. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) decent work agenda lists four pillars that underpin the decent work agenda. They are the promotion of jobs and enterprise, guaranteeing rights at work, extending social protection, and promoting social dialogue. Gender is the crosscutting theme on all four of these pillars

In South Africa we have seen the erosion of all of these pillars particularly through undermining of collective bargaining by both the public and private sectors. Workers are retrenched on a daily basis sometimes without meaningful consultation. A case in point is the onslaught that is against workers in the Retail and Hospitality Sectors of our economy.

Multinational companies like Wal-Mart (through Makro) have dismissed more than 600 workers who were embarking on a protected strike. These employers undermined even the core of our collective bargaining system, when they refused to be part of CCMA facilitated LRA Section 150 consultations under the pretext that they do not have the duty or obligation to bargain – an issue that needs acute consideration by our legislators.

This intransigence is underpinned by the “Anti Trade Union Philosophy” of Wal-Mart that wants a “Union Free” environment. Their ploy to squash the constitutionally guaranteed right to strike will bear no fruit. The existence of trade unions to defend the rights of workers that have been fought for by the working class will continue with greater conviction to break the shackles of poverty towards decent work for all.

The Retail and Hospitality Sector are the second largest employers in this country following the public sector yet job security is zero to none. Workers are paid meager salaries that are eroded by transport costs even before basic needs like food and shelter could be met. Workers in the senior citizens category go to retirement without social security cushions like pensions and health insurance. This leaves them most vulnerable and prone to poverty and all other social ills. Casualisation, flexi timers, and  part time work with no job security is the order of the day for employers who are escaping the responsibility of providing decent work for millions of workers.

For COSATU and all its affiliates including SACCAWU the fight for decent work shall continue up until workers achieve the decent work agenda

Issued by SACCAWU

For more information please contact:

Sithembele Tshwete
Head: Research and Media
South African Catering and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU)
(011) 403 8333
073 956 3108 or 082 336 5363