October 7, 2020 National Strike

Corruption has emerged as amongst the biggest threat to our hard-won democracy since the 1994 breakthrough. It is like cancer eating at the moral fibre of our society and eroding the moral standing of our revolution and the cause for which our people laid down their lives

The economy has been shedding jobs for a while now, with COSATU launching its Jobs and Poverty Campaign as early as late 90s, we have always identified jobs as key to the improvement of the quality of lives for workers and communities.According to Stats SA, 2, 2 million jobs have been lost in a space of a few months this year alone and this accounts for a real national crisis. This means, about 4,3 million people are unemployed in the country.

Capitalism is a system of violence and exploitation of workers.  Every day, workers lives are put at risk for the sake of profits.  As trade unions, we fight to make sure that workers are safe at work.  It is important that we fight for workers’ rights every day because as COSATU’s slogan says: An injury to one is an injury to all.  Black women workers experience exploitation and oppression as workers and black people, and they also experience violence, harassment and oppression as women

The Collective and centralized bargaining system in South Africa and globally, was a product of hard struggles by workers for effective defense of their rights, wages and decent working and living conditions. Employers and governments fought long and hard to effect the divide and rule principle in order to weaken the unity, solidarity and collective power of workers. The adage, “an injury to one is an injury to all” threatens employers and shakes ruling classes to the core as it wields massive workers power that cannot be defeated by any army or power anywhere

We salute workers who are marking World Day for Decent Work (October 7) by highlighting the impact of Covid-19 corruption. Being at the frontline of both our economy, and of fighting the pandemic, workers know too well that corruption has a direct impact on people’s lives and livelihoods

The Active Citizens Movement conveys its warm fraternal and comradely greetings to COSATU, its affiliates and members on the occasion of the National Strike on 7 October 2020. We stand together with you in protesting against the harsh conditions our workers and communities are subjected to – mass unemployment and retrenchments, lack of a living wage, disrespect for collective agreements with employers, poor health and safety conditions for work, lack of safe and efficient transport, escalating gender-based violence and many others. These problems make it virtually impossible for our workers and their families to survive, and especially under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to affect most harshly the poorest in our society

Today, the 7th October, 2020 marks a decisive moment in the history and struggle of the working class in our country and beyond. We are gathered here to express, on behalf of millions of workers and ordinary people; anger, frustration and united solidarity against the horrifying conditions we are all faced with. We are a collective of organisations representing thousands of workers and ordinary people in our country and joined by millions of workers the world over. This day is an international day for Decent work and international working-class solidarity