Thousands of workers took to the streets on Wednesday, heeding the call by the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) to object the proposed minimum wage of R20 an hour.
Saftu called for a nationwide strike demanding a minimum wage of R12 500.
Mining and Labour Analyst at Creative Voodoo Consulting, Mamokgethi Molopyane says Saftu's strike has proven that it can exist and thrive outside Cosatu.
She says it was a demonstration to government of their ability to organise and reach the numbers required.
Cosutu, in its statement of not supporting the march, said the minimum wage of R20 an hour is a start...but Saftu is arguing that, be that as it may, it comes with a condition that will be costly to workers, which is the right to strike in future.— Mamokgethi Molopyane, Mining and Labour Analyst at Creative Voodoo Consulting
They are saying, in accepting this you are taking the one powerful tool that workers always had post 1994, and I think even the affiliates within Cosatu are feeling that.— Mamokgethi Molopyane, Mining and Labour Analyst at Creative Voodoo Consulting
This highlights one thing; that while Cosatu is on the decline, Saftu has made a case for itself. It has occupied that space that seems to have been left by Cosatu. It is now occupying the media and conversations about policies on labour issues while Cosatu is seen as what it has always denied, that it will soon be reduced to a labour desk with the alliance.— Mamokgethi Molopyane, Mining and Labour Analyst at Creative Voodoo Consulting
To hear the rest of the conversation with Mamokgethi Molopyane, listen below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'Saftu's strike has proven that it can exist and thrive outside Cosatu'