Salga's role in collapse of talks 'must not go unpunished' – Cosatu

2013-10-05 16:42

Cosatu expressed support for striking workers in local government, beverage and components sectors.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) believed no workers should be subjected to poverty wages and “highly racialised and exploitative working conditions,” spokesperson Norman Mampane said today.

“On average more than 20% of workers’ disposable incomes is swallowed by transportation costs ... which have ensured that African workers generally live far from their workplaces,” he said.

The trade union federation called on the co-operative governance department to avert an imminent strike by municipal workers.

“The South African Local Government’s (Salga) refusal to discuss anything with a monetary value with the union, thus leading to the collapse of the negotiations, must not go unpunished,” said Mampane.

Wage talks between the SA Municipal Workers’ Union and the Salga collapsed on Thursday.

South African Breweries (SAB) employees affiliated to the Food and Allied Workers’ Union downed tools on Monday, demanding a 9.5% wage increase. The employer was offering 5.5%.

“[We] call upon SAB to meet the workers’ demand which is within their reach anyway.

“It is worrying that SAB is only concerned about ensuring that there was not a shortage of beer produced whilst it shows little compassion for workers whom it pays peanuts,” Mampane said

Cosatu also condemned deadlocked talks in the automotive components sector between the Retail Motor Industry Organisation and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa).

“Numsa has been negotiating with motor sector employers since April 2013. It is worrying that employers still adamantly refuse to concede to the reasonable demands by workers,” Mampane said.

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