Cosatu calls for national strike on Thursday

Cosatu calls for national strike on Thursday.png

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and its affiliates will embark on a nationwide stayaway on Thursday 6 July.

Cosatu parliamentary coordinator Matthew Parks said in a statement this week that protest marches would take place across major urban centres, including Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, in all nine provinces.

“This is a protected strike, and a Section 77 strike certificate has been issued by Nedlac guaranteeing all workers protection if they join the strike. The federation is pleased with the overwhelmingly positive response from the workers. Most workers have expressed full support for this strike, and we urge all workers, unions, and federations to join it,” Parks said in a statement.

“We are embarking on this nationwide strike in protest of the rising levels of unemployment, wage cuts, poverty and inequality affecting the workers and the working class in general. It is in defence of workers’ hard-won rights to bargain and attempts by employers in both the public and private sectors attempts to undermine this constitutional right.” Parks said.

He said government needs to do more to end the current levels of load-shedding, cable theft, crime and corruption, wasteful expenditure and austerity cuts crippling the state, suffocating the economy, and further plunging workers into high levels of indebtedness and misery.  

“This is also a signal to the government, the Reserve Bank, and the commercial banks, that the working class can no longer afford to bear the burden of rising levels of inflation, electricity tariff hikes and relentless and reckless increases in the repo rate,” he said.

He said the union demanded that employers pay workers a living to survive and buy the goods the economy produces.

“COSATU has consistently and continuously raised the frustration of workers with the government and the private sector with minimal response coming from them. Workers are losing hope and patience. The levels of frustration, despair, anger, poverty, indebtedness, unemployment, crime, and corruption are a ticking time bomb that the government and businesses need to deal with fast,” Parks said.

He said the government has become oblivious to the socio-economic challenges of workers.

“The working class is bleeding from the government’s sluggish response to policy failures that are leading to cuts in real wages and a rise in unemployment with more than half the population struggling to make ends meet,” he said.

“COSATU demands action which will address the delapidating railway infrastructure, and collapse in municipalities, 36 of which routinely fail to pay their employees. Companies are closing in many rural towns as basic services deteriorate.”

Cosatu has called on the government to:

  • Raise the SRD Grant to the food poverty line.
  • Extend the Presidential Employment Stimulus
  • Implement the two pot pension reforms on 1 March 2024.
  • Unblock delays in the rollout of the public infrastructure programme.
  • Intervene in 36 municipalities failing to pay employees.
  • Repeal the Municipal Systems Amendment Act clause banning all 350 000 municipal workers from holding office in a political party at any level.
  • Urgently rebuild and modernise Transnet and Metro Rail.
  • Urgently prevent the collapse and liquidation of the Post Office.
  • Allocate additional resources to ensure the SAPS, NPA, SIU, Hawks and judiciary are sufficiently resourced to win the war against crime and corruption.
  • Allocate further funds to the SA Revenue Services to tackle tax evasion and customs fraud.
  • Fill out all funded public service and sector vacancies by December 2023.

“The current situation must not be normalised, and the state must act to rescue the working class and the economy from this quagmire,” Parks said.




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