Labour federation Fedusa backs PSA's 'day of rage'

Cape Town – The "day of rage", or the Public Servants Association’s (PSA) nationwide strike on Monday has the support of the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa), of which the union is an affiliate.

Fedusa issued a statement on Friday, indicating that it fully supports the PSA’s wage demands. The PSA has 230 000 members.

Earlier this week the PSA announced it would embark on indefinitely long strikes and public protests in response to failed wage negotiations. About 5 000 members working at the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) will also be joining the strike, Fin24 reported.

Fedusa spokesperson Frank Nxumalo told Fin24 that none of its unions have signed the wage agreement. He said they support the PSA’s decision to strike on Monday, but he could not yet say whether they would join the PSA. 

The PSA demands a 12% wage increase across the board for the 2018/19 financial year. Government is offering a 7% increase for lower level workers, 6.5% for mid-level employees and 6% for senior managers.

Maepa told Fin24 on Wednesday that the federation's intention was to disrupt. But it would not to shut down essential services such as hospitals or police services. The strike will have significant economic costs, he said. "Our disruption is going to hit where it matters most."

Government responsible for 'weak economy'

In its statement Fedusa blamed government for the weak state of the economy. Senior officials engaged in "looting of state coffers, enhance state capture, corruption and fraud" which led to the degeneration of State Owned Companies’ creditability.

"Eskom, SAA, Denel and other SOCs all constantly need bailouts. The creditability of SARS, who is responsible for revenue collection, was also battered and it was estimated that more than R100bn was lost in the process," the statement read.

Fedusa said the "day of rage" was justified because nobody had been prosecuted.

Fedusa also criticised fuel hikes over three consecutive months. "With the fuel prices increased in April, May and June 2018, how does government think public servants and South Africans must carry the burden for the way the authorities have mismanaged the economy through the creation of political uncertainty?"

Record high fuel hikes kicked in this week, after an 82c/l increase in both grades of petrol.

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