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Cosatu calls for workers to defend jobs, fight crime and corruption

Cosatu members marching through the streets of Johannesburg. Picture: Kamogelo Moichela

Cosatu members marching through the streets of Johannesburg. Picture: Kamogelo Moichela

Published Jul 6, 2023


Cosatu in Gauteng has applauded the provincial Premier, Panyaza Lesufi, for his efforts in tackling unemployment and crime in the province. However, it stressed that more programmes were needed to address the country's crime, corruption, and high unemployment rate.

Trade union members marched to government offices on Thursday to voice their grievances. They were supported by their affiliated unions, who said the fight was not for Cosatu alone but for the whole nation. This was to resolve the challenges facing workers, young people, and the poor.

This includes a high unemployment rate, gender-based violence, crime, corruption, retrenchments, and a lack of equality in the workplace.

Cosatu members marched to the offices of the South African Human Rights Commission, the Department of Employment and Labour as well as the premier's office to deliver their memorandum.

The marches also took place in other major urban centres in the country.

This comes after Statistics South Africa revealed the high rates of unemployment among young people, gender equality not being practised at workplaces, and the high crime rate.

The Gauteng Deputy Chairperson of Cosatu, Thabang Sonyathi, said the three offices to which they submitted their memo, should act swiftly on matters they raised.

"The workers need to unite in defending jobs, fighting corruption, as well as the shortcomings of our law enforcement agencies in fighting corruption and gender-based violence. We need to fearlessly express our determination to protect the integrity of collective bargaining, and to resist all attempts by employers to undermine it," Sonyathi said.

Some of the grievances are:

- The Human Rights Commission should investigate the events surrounding the water supply in Hammanskraal.

- All negligent state institutions must be brought to book.

- Law enforcement agencies must speed up investigations into cases opened by community members.

- The commission to consider human rights violation consequence management.

- A deliberate and more focused implementation and resourcing of the National GBV Plan, including support for victims and stiff penalties for offenders, rehabilitation programmes and workplace strategies to combat all and every form of sexual harassment and improve gender mainstreaming.

- On ILO Convention 190 on the elimination of Violence and Sexual harassment in the workplace and a clear plan to enforce its implementation.

-The elimination of the gender pay gap in all workplaces.

- The immediate declaration and enforcement of a national moratorium on retrenchments and job losses in the public interest as to halt the job loss calamity.

- Speeding up a NEDLAC-led Process of amendment of Section 189 to enforce compulsory negotiations on matters of retrenchments and not just consultations, with full disclosure and as a last resort for businesses or employers.

- Government must enforce strict adherence by all employers to the labour bargaining protocols and outcomes/agreements to protect workers' wages and rights.

Furthermore, the federation gave the government 14 days to respond to their demands.

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