Johannesburg – Nehawu is taking its fight over Covid-19 corruption, working conditions of frontline workers and salary increases to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s doorstep on Monday.
The public sector union’s national executive will be staging a protest at the Union Buildings in a bid to force Ramaphosa and his administration to respond positively to the union’s memorandum of demands made during the national strike action earlier this month.
The union has been lambasting the government over the corruption, inadequate supply of personal protection equipment (PPEs), poor working conditions which frontline workers were forced to work under and the refusal by the employer to pay bonuses and agreed upon salary increments for workers.
Nehawu general secretary Zola Saphetha said the government had failed to respond to the union’s demands and that this would eventually see workers downing tools during the pandemic.
“On the 11th September 2020, Nehawu wrote to the Office of the President to remind him about the ultimatum which had expired and informing him about our intention to withdraw labour power. Disappointingly, the Office of the President has only acknowledged the receipt of our letter and nothing about responding to our demands,” Saphetha said.
Saphetha said provincial leaders in all nine provinces would be also holding similar protests in front of officers of premiers.
“In this regard, the leadership of Nehawu will not leave the Union Buildings and the Premiers offices until the President addresses us and resolves our issues as we believe we have been very patient with him and now our patience has dissipated. ”
He added the union would be campaigning for the total withdrawal of labour in all sectors in which it was organising if Ramaphosa refuses to accede to the demands.
“This include preparing and mobilising for the 3rd October, which is the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) International Day of Action, the COSATU general strike on the 7th October 2020 and the National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) upcoming strike will be integrated into our strike action plans,” said Saphetha.