The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has threatened a show of force on parliament’s doorstep, since they have not received a response to their memorandums of demands from the government regarding the National Minimum Wage Bill and labour law amendments.
Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said the union had not received a response, nor acknowledgment of receipt of their demands, which include a “living” minimum wage of R12 500 a month for all workers.
He said government’s silence demonstrates the utter arrogance and total disregard of workers.
“[President Cyril] Ramaphosa’s priority is to persuade international speculators that South Africa is a good place to invest and make profits, and a downtrodden working class and a weakened and docile trade union movement is part of his sales pitch,” Vavi said yesterday.
“He has declared war on the workers and that is why the NEC [national executive committee] agreed we must not be complacent. The nationwide protest on April 25 was just the beginning.”
Vavi said the next step would be to return to parliament “both inside and outside and in even greater numbers” when the National Assembly and the national council of provinces are discussing and debating the National Minimum Wage Bill, and labour law amendments.
He said: “If this fails to sway the minds of the members of parliament then we are already committed to the three-day general strike and even bigger marches that will bring the country to a halt.”
However, he said, before this the NEC has decided to form the Working Class Summit, which will be convened in the next eight weeks.
“This will bring together workers and progressive civil society to take ownership of the campaign. We welcome the support of the EFF, UDM, Azapo, ACP, PAC, WOSA and a range of socialist political formations. We are also receiving support from a growing number of international labour organisations.”
He said Saftu will continue to challenge the denial of entry into the national economic development and labour council (Nedlac).
Saftu unions will be holding a press conference today to explain why they have refused to sign the current salary agreement.