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MAY DAY PRESIDENT SPEECH


Long live the uncompromising, unrelentless and fighting spirit of the workers long live


NACTU to commend and congratulate all the workers especially frontline workers who ensured that we are protected during the pandemic without a token of appreciation from the state as employer. How uncaring


It’s a sad day and depressing period for the workers and the community at large. Covid-19 has wreaked havoc with death, job losses and job cuts. There is a threat to collective bargaining cloaked as Public Service Wage Dispute with the state as employer having reneged from the initial agreement and even as we talk now public sector workers have yet to receive their salary increment. NACTU urges all unions and federations to support the Public Sector wage dispute because it has the potential to remove all the gains made across sectors as employers can
take precedence from LAC ruling to renege on future collective agreements/resolutions with the pretext of incapacity to pay. The Public Sector wage dispute must not be viewed in isolation but impacts negatively across all sectors. The current wage negotiations are also discouraging with the employer tabling a zero% increment for the workers who are almost affected by the rising costs of transport, electricity, food etc. A public sector strike is imminent and will be more damaging with the pandemic putting more stress on resources but that is the only weapon left for the workers. NACTU prays that the Apex Court must rule in our favour come 24 August 2021. We urge the state as employer to respect the ILO Convention 87 and give the workers their salary increment and respect collective bargaining


Climate change is another issue that needs clearer thinking and attention. NACTU supports a clean environment but if the alternative source of energy means we have to close our coal mines we cannot and will not support. Lives and livelihoods are again pitted unnecessarily against each other here. We cannot subject our workers and communities to abject poverty by closing our coal mines and causing more harm to the already ailing economy by creating more unemployment and job losses instead we recommend the creation of more jobs by cleaning the coal and contributing to a cleaner environment with less smoke emissions.


We urge our workers communities to campaign to defend jobs and fight for workers’ rights


ALUTA CONTINUA HIGH DISCIPLINE-HIGH MORALE AMANDLA