South Africa 17.5.2018 04:00 pm

Labour dept sidelining our minimum wage representations – Saftu

Saftu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi speaking during a media briefing in Johannesburg, 17 May 2018.

Saftu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi speaking during a media briefing in Johannesburg, 17 May 2018.

The federation will not allow an attack on union rights and will take to the streets in ever increasing numbers to protest, Zwelinzima Vavi says.

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) today accused the Department of Labour of sidelining its representation to parliament, saying that it will intensify its campaign against the proposed national minimum wage and amendments to labour laws.

Saftu leaders yesterday clashed with parliamentary security officers after they were evicted from the portfolio meeting for staging a demonstration. The committee has been convened to ratify proposed amendments to labour laws as well as the national minimum wage proposals of R20 per hour.

Zwelinzima Vavi, Saftu secretary general, said the labour department was sidelining a number of aspects of the minimum wage agreement reached by social partners last year, adding that the federation would not allow an attack on union rights.

“This is just the beginning. We shall be seen again when the National Assembly and NCOP (National Council of Provinces) debate these Bills and we shall be taking to the streets again in ever increasing numbers,” Vavi said at a media briefing.

“The department of labour director-general, Thobile Lamati, has now responded in a media statement saying that the objections to the draft national minimum wage bill are bordering on delusion. We have written twice to the portfolio committee and all political parties in parliament. Only the EFF and UDM have bothered to engage us.”

Vavi, who led a national march against the minimum wage last month, said the federation will on Wednesday hold another briefing to announce a further programme of action.

African News Agency (ANA)

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