Shift workers called to join marches against corruption

2015-09-30 11:15


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Pietermaritzburg, The organisers of the Unite Against Corruption march are counting on social movements for a big turnout at today’s protest action, the first in a series.

Set to take place at cities such including Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban, the coalition has punted the march as the biggest since the fall of the apartheid regime.

However, this hope was put into ­jeopardy on Friday when the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) granted the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa’s (Numsa) a strike certificate valid only after October 8.

Numsa has since put out a strike notice for October 14, when the union is expected to hold rallies, marches, demonstrations and pickets.

“We are not mobilising our members to join tomorrow’s [today’s] protest action, as it is not a protected strike. However, we would like to call on all those who will not be working on night shift to join the marches on September 30,” said Mbuso Ngubane, Numsa’s provincial secretary.

“We hope that social movements and ordinary community members will come in numbers,” he said.

Ngubane said today’s protest action had been sabotaged by people protecting corruption.

“Numsa, on behalf of all unions, applied well in advance for permission from Nedlac’s Section 77 committee to hold a protected strike on September 30. They just wanted to delay the process, but the protest action will continue anyway without Nedlac,” he said.

The Federation of Unions of South ­Africa (Fedusa) has also withdrawn its members from the one-day demonstration.

The coalition said “attempts by Nedlac to frustrate the right of workers to strike will not hamper our plans or mobilisation tactics”.

Mlungisi Mkhize, provincial chairperson of United Front, which aims to launch a socialist/worker party in time to contest next year’s local government election, admitted that Nedlac’s decision would have a negative impact on the attendance.

“Obviously it is going to be a disadvantage for us to march without the workers. Too much effort had been put in mobilising the workers,” he said.

Mkhize said they would brave today’s blazing sun in Durban to hand their memorandum in at the city hall.

He said arrangements had been made to transport people from all over the province to Durban.

The campaign had received support from artists, civil society organisations, trade unions, faith-based organisations, academics and individuals.

Nelson Mandela’s private secretary, Zelda la Grange, has also lent her support to the campaign.

“3 parties involved in bribery. The payer, the receiver and the affected/loser. Which are you?” she asked her Twitter followers

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  march  |  corruption

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