Today's Labour News

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SaftuBusinessLive writes that the first public showing by the SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) may not push the government into scrapping any proposed labour laws, but it has demonstrated that the year-old labour organisation enjoys significant support.  

On Wednesday, major cities across the country were transformed into a sea of red that resembled marches by rival Cosatu in its glory days.  Hundreds of striking bus drivers holding out in a wage negotiations impasse might have bolstered the Saftu mass action.  Thousands of workers from different sectors, the majority of whom were members of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), Saftu’s biggest affiliate, joined in the action against the forthcoming national minimum wage rate of R20 an hour.  Saftu also opposes the introduction of a strike-balloting provision in the Labour Relations Act, saying it is intended to remove the right to strike.  The federation has more than 700,000 members, according to its unaudited figures, and is led by former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.  Its ability to flex its muscles at a time when Cosatu-affiliated unions are facing an uphill battle with employers on multiple fronts will count as a major political score.  Saftu will also have a case to make to gain recognition at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).

  • Read this informative report by Theto Mahlakoana in full at BusinessLive
  • Read too, 'They thought we were just talking; Cosatu died a long time ago', Saftu’s Vavi tells members, at News24
  • And also, 'We are no longer willing to suffer' Numsa spokesperson says during national shutdown, at News24

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page