Cape Town - Hundreds of Cosatu members sang and danced to struggle songs belting out of a minivan for the Cape Town leg of the "decent work" march to Parliament and strike on Friday.
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Members of the National Union of Mineworkers, the SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union, the SA Clothing and Textile Workers Union and the National Health Education & Allied Workers Union arrived in groups at their meeting point at the top of Keizergracht Street, while about 20 police officers in riot gear hung back.
Checkers employees in their turquoise shirts stood out in the sea of red regalia, with one carrying a poster complaining about the R100m pay cheque of Whitey Basson, chief executive of the Shoprite group.
The strike and march is part of the union federation's "Back to Basics" congress resolutions and ties in with the International Day of Decent Work.
A pamphlet distributed lists demands as:
• Efficient and reliable public transport;
• No e-tolls;
• Having labour brokers banned;
• A moratorium on retrenchment and for a jobs summit to be prioritised in the face of growing job losses;
• The urgent conclusion of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) negotiations on protection for vulnerable and exploited workers and a national minimum wage;
• Protection of collective agreements;
• Occupational health and safety standards in all work places;
• The introduction of national health insurance;
• The scrapping of the Tax Laws Amendment Act;
• Free education; and
• A housing scheme for public service workers.
Cosatu took a pounding when the powerful National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa was kicked out and its galvanising general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, also left.
The Cape Town march was planned to go down Keizergracht Street and end at Parliament.
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