The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) called on its members to participate in a one-day strike Thursday to “urge” the government and the private sector to “fix” the economic chaos the country finds itself in.
“The association calls on all workers and South Africans to join the strike on Thursday. They can either take part in the planned activities across the country or step back from work by staying home that day, “said Cosatu spokesman Sizwe Pamla.
He said the union is demanding urgent action from the union Government and private sector policymakers to stop ‘the attacks’ on workers.
“Both the public and private sectors have blatantly undermined collective bargaining.
” We want the reversal of budget cuts that have led to an unacceptable wage freeze in the public sector, the collapse of the CCMA and savings in state-owned companies, ”said Pamla many companies either hoarded or exported cash despite receiving “generous” incentives to reinvest in the economy.
“Billions were spent on tax cuts this year when Tue. Its money could have been used to increase government spending.
“Rather than clearly pointing it out, the rich have to bear the burden of correcting the government’s balance sheet after decades of rising profits – in a country that is the most unequal of the world and its inequality is highly racialized – the government will attack the civil service again if it does. It is necessary to build the capacity of the state to expedite delivery, “said Pamla.
According to the union, the inefficiency of the government and the scourge of public corruption are the main hurdles in solving the problems of the SA and the private sector.
“It is shameful that neoliberal zealots in the government are Continue to urge government to stick to rigid budgetary targets without unemployment falling and economic activity deteriorating year after year. Deficit, sovereign debt and inflation rate – in the misguided hope that the applauding private sector would step in.
“All of this cutback in government spending at a time of economic downturn exposes the fall of the Treasury Department’s claim that it is pursuing anti-cyclical fiscal policies , means that when the economy grows strongly, the state cuts or saves its spending so that it can spend aggressively when the economy falls, “said Pamla.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) said, that the strike of its members in the mechanical engineering sector will continue.
“The strike continues today and it will continue every day until our demands are met. Numsa members will picket various workplaces across the country. We remind members to be disciplined when picket lines so that they obey the picket rules. At the same time, the Covid-19 protocols must be complied with, “said Numsa spokeswoman Phakamile Hlubi-Majola.
She said the union demanded that employers make a nationwide increase of 8% for the first year and CPI plus 2% improvement factor for the second and third year.
“If the CPI + 2% falls below 6%, employers have to offer 6% or restart negotiations. Seifsa [the steel and mechanical engineering association of southern Africa] has announced that it will meet for negotiations. We hope that as we get involved, a meaningful proposal will be put on the table. ”
Thousands of Numsa members marched in Durban, the North Cape, Johannesburg and the Eastern Cape on Tuesday. Two rallies took place in the Western Cape.