Workers Show Solidarity to Demand Better Wages

by Aug 10, 2010All Articles

10augustThousands of public service workers in Cape Town responded to the Congress of South African Trade Unions’ (Cosatu) call for a national strike on Tuesday, 10 August, by marching to parliament where they handed over a list of demands.

Workers carried placards with slogans such as “Down with poverty wages”, “Baloyi we are not your Toyi”, “NO to 6.5%” and “Ban labour brokers”.

General Secretary of Cosatu, Zwelinzima Vavi, gave an impassioned speech where he reminded workers that “…this is not a strike, we are only firing a warning shot”, but we are still willing to negotiate.  Crowds roared as Vavi outlined the salaries of ministers, director-generals, and finally the president. Of President Jacob Zuma, Vavi said: “He has a family, just like we do. He has children to feed, just like we do” a statement which resonated with everyone at the march.

Some of the demands put forward were a wage increase of 8.6%; a housing allowance of R1000; an equal medical subsidy for all employees and an implementation date of 1st April. Government’s response so far has been a 6.5% wage increase, an implementation date of the 1st July, and an increase to the housing allowance of R130.

The memorandum was accepted on behalf of the Minister of Public Service and Administration and it asked for a response from government by the 12 August.  If not, Cosatu would embark on indefinite labour action.

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