The Minister of Labour, Mildred Oliphant, has announced that the draconian labour law amendments, and the poverty national minimum wage that entrenches the apartheid wage structure, may not be introduced on May Day as initially planned.
She says that the matter is now out of her hands, as Parliament is still to consider submissions on the bills.
This delay is a victory for the South African Federation of Trade Unions which is vehemently opposed to these bills. But we demand that they are not just postponed but totally scrapped.
The amendments threaten to destroy workers’ basic human and constitutional right to withdraw their labour.
In particular the federation opposes the provision for employers or government to impose compulsory arbitration to compel workers to return to work, if they consider a strike to be too long, or to be causing damage to the economy or the company involved. This amounts to forced labour and threatens to reduce workers to virtual slaves. It is also contrary to the constitution which entries workers right to strike.
SAFTU has already sent a letter to all parties in parliament which is affixed below.
Accordingly the mass mobilization led by SAFTU, its affiliates and civil society organisations will be intensified, leading to the march to Parliament on 12 April, the total shutdown on 25 April and May day celebrations.
Issued by SAFTU