Johannesburg - The Congress of SA Trade Unions on Thursday
called for election days to be declared non-trading public holidays to allow
all workers to vote.
"Cosatu has for many years demanded that commemorative
public holidays and election days should be declared as non-trading public
holidays," acting general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali told reporters in
"In order to ensure that all workers, especially those
in such sectors as farming and retail, should be free to join commemorative
events and to vote, without fear of disciplinary charges from their
He said the trade union movement had submitted notices under
Section 77 of the Labour Relations Act to protect workers who refused to work
on 1 May, Workers' Day.
The CEC [central executive committee] made a specific call
for workers to vote on 7 May, except those who have to work on that day and have
been given a special vote," he said.
President Jacob Zuma last Friday signed a proclamation
declaring 7 May as the date for the national elections. He also declared the
day as a public holiday, in terms of section 2A of the Public Holiday Act.