The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), is planning to bring the country to a standstill on Wednesday. They are calling for workers across South Africa to stay away from work in solidarity against the proposed national minimum wage and amendments to labour law.
Marches have been planned for Cape Town, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein and Polokwane to protest a proposed R20 per hour wage increase.
“We’re making a call to every worker to join the strike on 25 April. Stay away from work,” said the union.
The ‘no work, no pay’ rule will be applicable for workers who abscond.
Social media posts, stating that the protests will be violent, have been doing the rounds. Other posts are saying South Africans not participating in the mass action should stay off the roads, public transport and keep their children out of school. Saftu have denied these rumours.
Saftu’s acting spokesperson, Patrick Craven, says these messages are malicious and unfounded.
“People have nothing to fear. We’ll do everything we possibly can to make sure that the events we organise are peaceful and orderly. We don’t want these messages to distract people from joining the strike,” said Craven.
Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) have distanced themselves from the strike on Wednesday, saying they are in favour of the wage increase and won’t be drawn into these matters.
Further on strike action. There seems to be no end in sight for the nationwide bus strike which has been in effect for almost a week.
Wage negotiations is at the root of the problem, workers want a 12% increase, and employers are offering only 7%. An offer of 8% for the first year, and 8.5% in the second year, has been rejected and workers are instead proposing a 9.5% increase in the first year and 9% in the next.
Government will meet unions and employers again today to try and come to a settlement. The strike has affected almost 370,000 passengers who use buses to get to work.