The SACP in the Western Cape has called on Parliament to lift suspensions of two members of National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu), as workers again downed tools in Parliament on Thursday.
The suspension of Sithembiso Thembe and Michael Sithole was meant to draw focus away from workers and their rights, the SACP said.
“Failure to uplift the suspension of the union leaders will indeed border on a direct attack on the very motive force that has contributed to the ANC being the majority in Parliament today. As the SACP, we will support Nehawu in their endeavour to ensure workers’ rights are not being undermined; our support is extended should mass action be decided upon,” the organisation said in a statement.
Members of Nehawu embarked on a strike demanding the lifting of the suspensions while also decrying the “arrogance” of Parliament secretary Gengezi Mgidlana.
The long-standing labour dispute was preceded by pickets and demonstrations a few days ago outside Parliament. The SACP accused Mgidlana of deploying “bullying tactics” against Parliament workers.
“As the SACP in the province, we fully support Nehawu and encourage workers to refuse being subjected to intimidation and bullying tactics by Gengesi Mgidlana. We call on the ANC, as the majority party in the parliament, to stop hiding its head in the sand on this matter and to desist from subjecting workers to the wrath of bureaucrats, whom by their very action and conduct, have illustrated that they have no interest in the advancing the National Democratic Revolution, the motive forces of which are the working class.”
– African News Agency (ANA)