The country’s third-biggest labour federation, FEDUSA has deferred a decision on whether or not to support the introduction of mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations in the country.
This as sharp disagreements on the controversial issue emerged among its affiliated trade unions during a Special Congress held in Benoni, east of Johannesburg, today.
Leaders of FEDUSA’s 19 affiliates gathered in Johannesburg for the second time in just over a month to finalise outstanding matters from its National Elective Congress held in October.
While some affiliates strongly support the introduction of mandatory vaccinations at the workplace, others, such as the Public Servants Association, are against it saying it’s unconstitutional.
President of FEDUSA Godfrey Selematsela, “We need to engage our affiliates, have meetings after meetings to the extent that as we have had the congress the final analysis is that let’s allow colleagues to go and consult their members to the extent that we would convene a special NEC meeting where we would consolidate the submissions that have been made. Where after those submissions will be one that we as the leadership will be running with in terms of presenting the workers’ mandate.”
Teachers encouraged to vaccinate
The South African Teachers Union (SADTU) and the National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa (NAPTOSA) says they have urged their members to vaccinate.
SADTU calls on members to vaccinate:
The two teacher organisations say they will also soon be announcing their decision on whether they fully support mandatory vaccination.
Some of South Africa’s largest private school groups have already made a move to introduce a mandatory vaccination policy.
SADTU General-Secretary Mugwena Maluleke said the union’s national executive committee was still set to meet and deliberate on the matter of mandatory vaccinations.
“For now our stance is always been that we encouraging everyone to vaccinate, the govenment has given us information, has given us everything, they’ve given facilities and so we are encouraging and motivating our members to take the vaccine because vaccines do work. However, we have not decided on the mandatory part of the vaccine, even if we know that this is a matter that is occupying every global debate that we are participating and indeed that is why we need to discuss it.”