Today's Labour News

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parliamentBusinessLive reports that a fight broke out in Parliament on Wednesday during a labour portfolio committee meeting to discuss the National Minimum Wage Bill in detail.  

The chairwoman Sharome van Schalkwyk described the incident as "unfortunate".  The committee blamed members of the SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) for the disruption, but the federation has put the blame on parliamentary security.  Van Schalkwyk said in a statement:  “The Portfolio Committee on Labour is disappointed with the conduct of alleged Saftu activists who sought to disrupt a committee meeting meant to discuss the National Minimum Wage Bill, clause by clause.”  She added:  “The committee will not be distracted and derailed in trying to improve the conditions many of our poor working South Africans find themselves in.  The processes on the National Minimum Wage are unfolding, and this drastic and chaotic stance is not warranted.”  Van Schalkwyk claimed that a handful of activists "donning Saftu regalia" disrupted the meeting.  A video shows a violent fight breaking out.  Saftu‚ however‚ has told a different story‚ saying that 15 of its leaders were "forcefully evicted" from the meeting.  In a statement, Saftu contended that its demonstration over the non-tabling of its letter had been peaceful — "[but] we were met with forceful security, who had no regard for our rights to peaceful demonstration".

  • Read this report by Matthew Savides in full at BusinessLive
  • See too, Saftu leaders kicked out of parliament meeting considering minimum wage, at The Citizen
  • Read Parliament’s press statement at Parliament Online

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page