Cosatu declares war on brokers

2010-12-21 13:12

Workers should prepare for the “mother of all battles” against labour brokers next year, Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said today.

“We call on workers to use their rest to re-energise themselves and be ready for a mother of all battles in 2011,” he told a media conference in Johannesburg.

“We are only interested in one thing: do not regulate labour brokers, but we must ban them.”

He said Cosatu would launch a campaign early next year calling on government to ban labour brokers.

Vavi said this year had been a very good year for the country due to the hosting of the Fifa World Cup.

However, he declared the end of the year a “black festive and black Christmas” due to the number of job losses the country had suffered.

He said since the beginning of 2009, some 1.17 million jobs were lost.

He lamented the growing gap between rich and poor, saying that a highly paid chief executive in the private sector earned some 1 875 times more than an average worker.

Vavi said Cosatu was positive about the government’s new growth path, about the proposed National Health Insurance, and about the recent announcement that government would buy antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV for half the price.

He said Cosatu and the African National Congress enjoyed a better relationship than last year because of these issues.

The ruling party’s national general council (NGC), held in September, had also played a pivotal role in mending the relationship.

“The NGC restored discipline and order and defended the unity of the alliance,” said Vavi.

He said Cosatu would take part in vetting candidates for next year’s local government election.

“We’ve been part of the ANC’s guide for the selection of candidates to occupy office,” he said.

He said disagreements between Cosatu, the ANC and the SA Communist Party (SACP) were healthy for democracy and should not be misunderstood as signs of a split in the tripartite alliance.

The federation also called for SACP leaders who held positions in government to return to the party.

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