Saftu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi speaking during a media briefing about the federation's stance on the proposed national minimum wage and amendments to labour laws Photo: Thembelihle Mkhonza

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) on Thursday accused the Department of Labour of sidelining its representation to Parliament, saying that it will intensify its campaign against the proposed national minimum wage and amendments to labour laws. 

Saftu leaders on Wednesday clashed with Parliamentary security officers after they were evicted from the portfolio meeting for staging a demonstration. The committee has been convened to ratify proposed amendments to labour laws as well as the national minimum wage proposals of R20 per hour.

Zwelinzima Vavi, Saftu secretary general, said that the labour department was sidelining a number of aspects of the minimum wage agreement reached by social partners last year, adding that the federation would not allow an attack on union rights.

"This is just the beginning. We shall be seen again when the National Assembly and NCOP debate these Bills and we shall be taking to the streets again in ever increasing numbers," Vavi said at a media briefing. 

READ: Saftu to announce action plan after being booted from national minimum wage meeting

"The Department of Labour director-general, Thobile Lamati, has now responded in a media statement saying that the objections to the draft national minimum wage bill are bordering on delusion. We have written twice to the portfolio committee and all political parties in Parliament. Only the EFF and UDM have bothered to engage us."

Saftu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi says that the ruling ANC did not bother to engage with SAFTU on the proposed national minimum wage, but EFF and UDM consulted it Video: Thembelihle Mkhonza

Vavi, who led a national march against the minimum wage last month, said the federation will on Wednesday hold another briefing to announce a further programme of action. 

 African News Agency/ANA