Today's Labour News

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SaftuANA reports that the SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) said on Monday that it would be embarking on a general strike on Wednesday in all major cities against the introduction of the national minimum wage (NMW) and adverse labour laws amendments.  

General secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said the affiliates of the federation and its allies in civil society would be on the streets protesting against “the biggest attacks on working-class people, the trade unions and the poor majority of South Africans since the end of apartheid”.  Saftu members are expected to take to the streets in Joburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Polokwane, Durban, and East London, to march to Department of Labour offices.  In November, government approved the NMW of R20 per hour, or R3,500 a month, which was to have been implemented 1 May, but has been delayed.  Vavi commented that “grossly overpaid tycoons, together with their new champion in the Union Buildings, multi-billionaire President Cyril Ramaphosa, want workers and their families to survive on just R20 an hour, something they would never dream of accepting for themselves.”  He added the proposed labour law amendments “will now force unions to navigate even more obstacles before they can go on strike, including strict rules on balloting of members, picket regulations which will prevent strikers engaging with other workers and extending conciliation procedures, even after negotiations have deadlocked.”

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