‘Cleaners are slaves’

2011-08-09 07:39

The ANC Youth League has thrown its weight behind the striking cleaning workers’ demand for a minimum wage of R4 200 per month.

“We are fully aware that in their majority cleaners are females who take care of many other people in their families and communities,” the league’s spokesperson, Floyd Shivambu, said in a statement.

“The wages that are currently given to cleaning workers can only take them to and from their work places. This makes them slaves who work for nothing,” he said.

Shivambu said there could be no other way to communicate Women’s Day than through a concrete programme and action to ensure that vulnerable workers, particularly the female ones, were protected and granted minimum wages in all the sectors where minimum wages did not exist.

He said the league would soon meet with the unions representing cleaning workers and take up all their demands to the labour minister and the parliamentary portfolio committee on labour.

This, he said, was to ensure that there was legislation imposing a minimum wage in the sector.

“Our 24th national congress mandate is to openly associate and mobilise for the interests of the working class and the poor,” Shivambu said.

He also called on the league’s branch and regional structures to give all the necessary support to the striking workers until their demands were met.

Thousands of contract cleaning workers went on strike in all the provinces across the country yesterday.

Their unions wanted the salaries of workers earning less than R2 400 a month to be increased to R4 200 a month.

Those earning above R4 200 should get a 10% increase.

Other demands included a 13th cheque, an eight-hour working day and for members in rural areas to be paid the same as their urban colleagues.

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