Cosatu strikes on Friday

2016-10-05 06:00

THE Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has announced a one day national strike for all employees on Friday (07/10).

The National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) has confirmed that Cosatu has complied with Section 77 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA), No. 66 of 1995, in serving the necessary notices on Nedlac. The activities on Friday will therefore be a protected protest action and will not be a strike, despite Cosatu calling it such.

Similarly, the activities on 7 October 2015 were called a national strike, but were in fact a protected protest action.

Section 77 of the LRA provides for “protest action to promote or defend socio-economic interests of workers” and covers a much larger scope of demands than those of mutual inte-rest between employee and employer.

The demands of Cosatu are:

  • Demand the total banning of the labour brokers.
  • Demand the scrapping of the e-tolling system, including the expensive toll gates.
  • Fight in defence of jobs and against retrenchments.
  • Demand the implementation of the Legislated National Minimum Wage.
  • Fight to defend and protect Collective Bargaining Agreements.
  • Fight for compliance with occupational health and safety standards in all workplaces.
  • Fight for the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI).
  • Fight for the scrapping of the Taxation Amendment Law.
  • Demand the implementation of Free Education.

Any employee is entitled to participate in the protected protest action and may not be disciplined for being absent from work.

Participating employees enjoy the same protection as in the case of a protected strike. However, the principle of no-work-no-pay will apply.

Any employee engaged in an essential service may not participate in the protest action.

Employees in a maintenance service may participate if permitted by the agreement regulating the maintenance service.

It is not yet clear whether any of the non-Cosatu unions will take part in the protest action.

Some of the Cosatu regions have indica-ted that they will support the project.

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