Calling Thatcher prostitute is ‘an insult to sex workers’

2013-04-18 12:54

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher was ridiculed today at the bargaining conference of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) in Pretoria.

Numsa’s second deputy president Christine Olivier told members to refrain from referring to Thatcher as “the prostitute”.

“It is an insult to sex workers. Using the word prostitute as a term of abuse is deeply offensive to sex workers, whose interests Numsa took an interest in arguing for,” she said.

“It implies that they are collectively at par with the reactionary Thatcher rather than members of the working class. So comrades from KZN, may you use another word when you refer to Margaret Thatcher.”

Applause and laughter greeted Olivier’s remarks.

Shortly afterwards, union federation Cosatu’s general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi addressed the conference.

He said most workers were demanding decent work and banning labour brokers, a matter which should have been resolved long ago.

“Workers are telling us everywhere that they are tired of listening to themselves demanding a complete ban on labour brokers.” he said.

“It is now four years since the ANC committed itself to the principle of decent work. Decent work and labour brokering is like oil and water – they don’t mix.”

The tripartite alliance agreed a year ago about proposals to amend labour laws and advance the agenda of decent work through legislation.

“We are extremely concerned that this agreement, no matter how imperfect it may be, has not been implemented,” said Vavi.

Giving feedback on the Cosatu collective bargaining, organising, and campaigns conference held in March, Vavi said workers were disgruntled.

“The main message from our members is crystal clear – workers have had enough of poverty wages, retrenchments, labour brokers, obscene levels of inequality, and arrogant bosses,” he said.

“We will unite to resist the attacks on collective bargaining and the right to strike, and step up the fight to transform the apartheid wage structure and implement, among others, a statutory national minimum wage and a basic income grant.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.