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SAFTU demands its right to join Nedlac and to strike

Members of the South African Federation of Trade Unions will be picketing outside the Annual Summit of the National Economic Development and Labour Council, (Nedlac) from 09h00 on Friday 8th September, at Emperor’s Palace in Ekurhuleni.

SAFTU is protesting against delays and obstruction from Nedlac over two issues  – its right to affiliate to Nedlac and the submission of a notice under Section 77 of the Labour Relations Act to allow for protected strike action on socio-economic issues.

Six unions which subsequently affiliated to SAFTU at its launching congress in April 2017, submitted a notice to Nedlac in December 2016, under Section 77 of the Labour Relations Act in December 2016, in support of demands for an end to the job loss bloodbath and rising poverty for the creation of a new economic growth path centered on creation of jobs through industrialisation of the economy, using the mineral wealth as a lever to build secondary industries and redistribution of wealth to the historically marginalised majority.

The launching Congress endorsed their application, and added further demands for the transformation of the country’s dysfunctional and two-tier educational and healthcare services, the failure to restore stolen land to its rightful owners and the epidemic of corruption and looting.

Nedlac however has frustrated the six unions’ submission, trying to deny their right to take protected strike action. All sorts of spurious reasons are being advanced to delay and frustrate the unions’ right to embark on protected protest strike action.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has also expressed dissatisfaction with the way Nedlac handled its section 77 application to protest against job losses in the mining industry which was declined.

This is made all the more suspicious by the recent granting of a Section 77 strike certificate to COSATU to protest at the Union Buildings, calling for an end to state capture and corruption, which was only filed in July, suggesting a deliberate policy to favour COSATU and frustrate non-COSATU unions.

Nedlac has also stonewalled the federation’s application to affiliate to Nedlac, despite it being the second biggest union federation. We will use all legal avenues open to us to challenge this attempts to continue cutting deals behind the industrial proletariat.

SAFTU however will not be deterred and we shall continue to mobilise the workers on a general strike in November 2017 and convene a Peoples Conference on the crisis facing the country in December.

We shall link up with thousands of the unemployed and poor communities and progressive civil society formations on to the streets of South Africa, to combat the pillaging of the country by all factions of capital.

The federation will also be protesting on Friday against the sellout slavery national minimum wage of R3 500 a month signed at Nedlac by big business, government and what have become its sweetheart and captured trade union leaders, as well as Nedlac even discussing a move to force unions to hold ballots and introduce other measurers to undermine the right of workers to strike.

The media are invited to witness the process. The details are:

DATE: Friday 8 September

TIME: from 09h00

VENUE: Emperor’s Palace, Jones Road, Kempton Park