Johannesburg – Cosatu is gearing up for a national strike in two weeks’ time to protest against the retrenchments, unemployment, corruption and racism plaguing the country.
The strike is set to take place a week after President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation Address.
The labour federation’s president, Zingiswa Losi, on Friday addressed hundreds of members of the federation and its tripartite alliance partners the SACP and the ANC in Durban in preparation for the strike, set down for February 13.
Losi said the strike, to be undertaken under section 77 of the Labour Relations Act, would be held to take a stand against retrenchments, unemployment, racism, corruption and advocate for the safety of teachers at schools.
Speaking on the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture, Losi said the strike would deliver the message that “enough is enough”. She called on those implicated in state capture to return the money received through corrupt deals to the fiscus.
“All of this (corruption) must come to an end. On this day (of the strike), comrades and workers organised under the federation Cosatu and those who are unemployed will be communicating a message to business, government and the entire country, that we do not want retrenchments, unemployment and job losses.
“Two summits were held, a jobs summit and an investment summit, and undertakings were given by big business (to create) jobs – now it is the very same businesses who are now retrenching workers.”
At the jobs summit Cosatu called for a moratorium on retrenchments, a position that was supported by the government, but not the businesses present. “They (businesses) told us that in 10 years they would create 10 million jobs but they’re taking those jobs away now,” said Losi.
Nontembeko Boyce, of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, said the ANC had no doubt that Cosatu would shut down the province. “As an activist, I like section 77 strikes because that’s when we move outside our interests in the workplace as workers and focus on building the country – because we tackle socio-economic issues, too.”