South African workers fight for their rights

This video from South Africa is called Cosatu on strike season, labour brokers.

Tens of thousands of trade unionists marched peacefully through towns and cities across South Africa today during a one-day national strike against proposed new road tolls and short-term contract labour agencies: here.

See also here.

South African trade unions celebrate solid national protest: here.

South Africa apologised today for an incident last week in which 125 Nigerians were deported that has since sparked tit-for-tat retaliation by Lagos: here.

2 thoughts on “South African workers fight for their rights

  1. South Africa: Thousands take part in nationwide strike and protests

    Thousands went on strike and took part in marches all across South Africa on Wednesday. They were protesting against the use of labour brokers and the imposition of tolls on motorways. The marches were organised by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in 32 towns and cities.

    Currently there are around 40 tollgates operating on the N1, N3, N12 and R21 freeways. The ANC government has imposed tolls partly to pay for the upgrading of the motorway system prior to South Africa holding the football world cup in 2010.

    COSATU is calling for banning the use of labour brokers, which supply labour to companies and cream off some of the workers’ earnings. A press statement issued by the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) said that in some workplaces up to 70 percent of the workforce is supplied by labour brokers, with those workers earning as little as 30 percent of the wage of the directly employed.

    There has been a big growth in labour brokers since 1995, offering a temporary pool of workers to companies seeking to maximise their profits by having a highly flexible workforce.

    Gold Fields, one of the world’s largest gold producers, reported an 85 percent abstention by workers. Harmony Gold reported that all National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) affiliated staff were absent and the coal mining company Anglo American reported a majority of its employees absent.

    The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) called on its members to join the protests; the South African Student Congress likewise called on students to participate.


  2. Judge suspends contested e-toll

    SOUTH AFRICA: A controversial electronic road toll system that has sparked mass demonstrations was suspended on Saturday two days before fresh protests called by trade union confederation Cosatu.

    The Johannesburg region “e-toll,” which had been set to charge vehicle-owners via electronic tags from May 30, was put on hold by High Court Judge Bill Pinsloo pending a judicial review that could see it scrapped altogether.

    Cosatu opposes the funding plan as a tax on ordinary workers and has demanded that the authorities find a different method of paying for road improvements near the capital in Gauteng province.


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