African National Congress (ANC) chief whip Jackson Mthembu on Thursday urged the Parliamentary portfolio committee on labour to conduct its deliberations on the proposed national minimum wage and labour law bills in closed meetings in a bid to protect its members from intimidation.
A scuffle broke out on Wednesday when about 15 leaders of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) were evicted from the meeting after they staged a demonstration. The committee has been convened to ratify proposed amendments to labour laws.
“The office of the ANC chief whip strongly condemns the actions of a group purported to have been members of the Saftu who disrupted a portfolio committee meeting in Parliament yesterday. The thuggish behaviour of these protesters was deplorable, and must be treated with the disdain it deserves,” it said in a statement.
“As a consequence of these actions, we urge the committee to request that their deliberations on these bills be held in closed meetings in order to protect members of parliament from possible future intimidation.”
Saftu will at noon announce planned action to intensify the fight against the proposed national minimum wage of R20 an hour.