The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) President Zingiswa Losi has urged South African workers to use the Workers’ Day celebrations to unite to overcome the many challenges they face in the workplace.
She was speaking in an exclusive interview with the SABC News as millions of workers celebrate May Day this morning.
Cosatu is holding its main Workers’ Day celebrations at the Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg in the North West where ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to deliver the main address.
Losi says they believe government has abandoned South African workers.
“We believe that workers have been abandoned. We have VAT increase over the last five years, rising food and petrol prices, retrenchments in the SOEs and private sector. There has been unilateral unbundling of SOEs and outright privatization like your SAA. CCMA which plays a key role in protecting workers from abusive employees has been crippled by budgets cuts. Therefore, we are making a call to unite and realise a one sector one union, one federation one country and united, we stand and divided we fall.”
The Congress of the People (COPE) has called on workers to unite in the fight for their rights in the workplace.
The party has accused Cosatu of abandoning workers, saying it has been captured by the ANC.
ANC President, Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to deliver the main address at Cosatu’s Workers’ Day celebrations at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg in the North West.
This, as Workers’ Day celebrations are being held across the country.
The aim of the internationally recognised day is to celebrate the achievements of workers.
COPE national spokesperson, Dennis Bloem has called on labour unions to put the interests of workers first.
“Unity is the only weapon that workers have to win their battles on the shop floor. Workers and the country can celebrate Workers Day because workers were united in the fight for the recognition of the worker’s struggle. It is very sad to see that the once powerful workers federation, Cosatu, was captured by the governing party, the ANC, and in the process left it toothless. COPE calls upon all federations to put the interests of the workers, their members first.”
Workers’ Day | Over 70% of workers in South Africa don’t belong to any trade unions:
Meanwhile, concerns are being raised that over 70% of workers in South Africa do not belong to any trade union.
However, some labour experts have blamed unions for not being more active in recruiting new members in the industries that they organise in.
Unions also say some employers are reluctant to let employees join unions.
Unions cite many reasons for workers not belonging to unions.