The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in KwaZulu-Natal has called on all unions to rally behind Friday’s nationwide strike by health workers called by National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu).

The health workers are striking over salaries and the alleged lack of Personal Protective Equipment to protect frontline workers in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Nehawu says it has engaged with the Department of Health a number of times to improve the working conditions and prioritise the safety of workers within this sector.

Cosatu’s Provincial Secretary Edwin Mkhize is also calling for better working conditions in the education sector, especially in rural schools.

Mkhize says, “We believe in improved conditions of work for frontline workers like the provision of the quality PPEs, frontline workers to be paid danger allowances, it’s a fight for a good cause. It is for this reason also why we are supporting the Nehawu strike. We are also going to work very closely with our Sadtu (South Africa Democratic Teacher’s Union) union together with all other stakeholders and also other role players like the student formations.”

In the video below, Nehawu raises concern over worker’s safety in the Free State:

Last week, laboratory workers affiliated to Nehawu downed tools.

SABC’s Mbalenhle Mthethwa reports that the strike is over the institution’s failure to implement a 2019 labour agreement: