The South African Federation of Trade Unions is angry, though not surprised, by the pathetic offer from the National Minimum Wage Commission of a miserly 5% increase in the national minimum wage (NMW) and rejects it with contempt.
SAFTU rejected the poverty NMW of R20 for workers in general, R18 for farmworkers, R15 for domestic workers and R11 for EPWP when it was negotiated behind the backs of workers at NEDLAC. The supporters of this pathetic class compromise insisted that these slavery figures were only the first step. We warned them that the bosses and their government would not allow the snatching of defeat from the jaws of victory. The employers had won a major battle to legitimize a poverty wage and to keep the apartheid inequalities intact.
The 5% increase will effectively increase the National Minimum Wage by R1 for those at R20 an hour, the R16 will increase by 80 cents and 55 cents for the EPWP workers currently earning R11.
SAFTU calls on COSATU, NACTU and FEDUSA to withdraw from the Nedlac agreement and instead join workers who rejected the legitimisation of the apartheid wage structure and poverty wages.