R20 an hour is an insult to workers - Vavi

South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi says the federation does not agree with Cosatu's sentiments that the proposed changes to minimum wage to R20 is a positive step towards the right direction.

Vavi says Saftu rejects the proposed minimum wage which is tantamount to a slave wage.

Read: Minimum wage deadline missed

To make so much noise as Cosatu is making beat drums and claim that there is a breakthrough, when they are increasing that ridiculous extreme poverty, slave wage to now R20 an hour, is actually a betrayal to a true radical economic transformation that will ensure that we bury the apartheid wage structure.

Zwelinzima Vavi, Saftu general-secretary

The fact that Cosatu is saying that this is a breakthrough, half a loaf is better than nothing, is a typical example of a captured federation who have abandoned the interests of workers. They are now speaking the same language as the bosses who are saying you are better off with R20 than nothing. We reject that.

Zwelinzima Vavi, Saftu general-secretary

Vavi says before Cosatu was captured, in 2012, it had resolved to fight for a minimum monthly wage of R4500. He says R20 an hour is an insult to workers who died in Marikana demanding better wages.

Saftu will be marching to Parliament on 12 April to call for a national general strike calling for an economic shutdown on 25 May.

Fedusa's lead negotiator Johan Van De Kerk says the R20 an hour wage was agreed upon after lengthy negotiations which stretched over 3 years.

He says they see this agreement as a step in the right direction, a foot in the door.

We see this as a first step, in other words a foot in the door, and a process we can now take further because there is now a minimum wage commission that is empowered to look at this process and adjust it accordingly.

Johan Van De Kerk, Fedusa lead negotiator

Eventually we will reach a state where every person will earn a living wage which R5400...

Johan Van De Kerk, Fedusa lead negotiator

To hear the rest of the conversations on minimum wage, listen below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : R20 an hour is an insult to workers - Vavi


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