The Democratic Alliance is welcome to march against the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) to promote labour broking, the federation's general secretary Zwelenzima Vavi said on Thursday.
“You have to think about the real class battles. That is why I said on Twitter... to the DA, fine you can come march on Cosatu's head office and tell us that this 1/8labour broking 3/8 is ok,” he said.
“Come tell us that this rate of casualisation (of employees) is something we must not struggle against. Come tell us that we shouldn't fight against labour brokers.”
Vavi was speaking at the launch of a new edition of unionist and stalwart Emma Mashinini's autobiography, “Strikes have Followed me all my Life”, in Johannesburg. Mashinini was one of the founding members of Cosatu.
Vavi said the DA would never understand what it would be like to be a young black woman who earned a minimum wage.
“The people who will receive your memorandum is not us (Cosatu) who happens to speak on behalf of workers, but it will be the workers themselves,” he said.
“Our message to cowards and to the opportunists in the DA is to come march to us and tell us that half a loaf is better than no bread at all.
“Come tell us that we must tolerate these conditions, because you are not wearing that shoe yourself.”
He said the march would disrespect the rights and the freedom that workers had “toiled for” during apartheid.
“The union that Ma Emma founded and pioneered is today most viciously attacked by casualisation and labour broking,” Vavi said.
“To make this situation even worse, the face of casualisation is predominantly the black working class youth that is employed by labour brokers.
“This means that although a lot has changed, the revolutionary road still remains a long and thorny one that only genuine activists and revolutionaries can endure,” he said.
DA leader Helen Zille told students at the University of Stellenbosch last Tuesday that Cosatu was attempting to “jockey” for more power in the country.
She said South Africans needed to see through Cosatu, because it wanted to “keep unemployed people excluded from jobs and economic opportunities, to protect its power base”.
“As the internal battle in the ANC heats up, and Cosatu jockeys for more of the power, it has cleverly tried to paint itself as the 'internal opposition' inside the tripartite alliance,” Zille said.
“It is clear that Vavi is engaged in a campaign to construct for himself a power base, from which he will attempt to capture the alliance at the ANC's 2017 conference.”
She said that if Vavi wanted to run the country, he should “put his name on the ballot and stand for election”.
Cosatu had previously announced that it would not participate in the Western Cape's economic development partnership. - Sapa