TRADE UNIONIST Zwelinzima Vavi and his SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), are embarking on a legal strike today, to highlight inequalities and job losses.
The strike coincides with the much awaited national budget speech by minister of Finance Tito Mboweni, to be delivered today in Parliament.
“This ‘we are all in this together’ does not make sense to us. The pandemic divided us further in what is already the world’s most unequal country. Rich capitalists have gotten richer while the working class is now much poorer. It is time to fight back. We must take the battle for our jobs, livelihoods and democratic rights to the streets,” Vavi said.
“Bosses are using Covid-19 as an excuse to cut wages and worsen conditions. More jobs are becoming precarious through outsourcing, zero-hours contracts or bogus self-employment status,” he said.
During media brief, Vavi said the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic had not united South Africans as inequalities and job cuts were escalating, with the working class bearing the brunt of economic exclusion.
The federation is planning to highlight its demand for the overhaul of the country’s economy to counter the damage that saw more than 2 million jobs destroyed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The nationwide strike will be joined by other SAFTU affiliated unions, who warned Government not to “dare” touch or cut the national wage-bill.
On Tuesday, Stats SA released the unexpected high unemployment figures.
South Africa’s unemployment rate jumped to a record high in the fourth quarter of last year, the statistics agency said on Tuesday, as the economy was further battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Statistics South Africa said the unemployment rate stood at 32.5% in the October-December quarter, meaning 7.2 million people were unemployed, up from 30.8% in the previous three months.
The figure was the highest since the survey began in 2008.
As for Mboweni, it’s a high mountain to climb!
Image (SAFTUs Zwelinzima Vavi warns Gvt not to touch national wage-bill or else…).