The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Tuesday pledged its full support for the protest action by its fellow workers in the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) against job losses in the poultry industry.
This unprecedented move would see Fawu, an affiliate of Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), working alongside Numsa which expelled from the trade union federation two years ago.
This also comes as Fawu on Tuesday staged a third leg mass protest action in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature against the dumping of poultry products from the European Union (EU), arguing that about 1,250 workers had already been earmarked for retrenchments by one of the local poultry companies.
Fawu has already marched to the head office of the Treasury Department and to the offices of the European Union (EU) Commission Embassy in Pretoria.
Fawu is also protesting against government plans to introduce a one-percent tax on sugar-sweetened beverages from next year in a bid to curb unhealthy lifestyles and non-communicable diseases.
In a statement, Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said they fully supported Fawu’s call for parliament and all provincial legislatures to listen to the outcry for jobs to be defended.
Jim said parliament must heed the demand for the dumping of chicken from EU to be restricted.
“Cabinet must urgently review of the EU/SA Economic Partnership Agreement, which gave rise to the grave situation facing the domestic poultry industry,” Jim said.
“We also share Fawu’s concern that more jobs could be lost as a result of the ‘Sugar Tax’. Any job loss is one too many in a country where four out of ten people able to work are unemployed and in which poverty is so pervasive and income inequality is the widest on earth.”
Numsa also urged its members to back the rolling mass action by joining Fawu’s protest marches.
– African News Agency