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RAY Alexander Elizabeth Mafikeng
RAY
Alexander
ELIZABETH
Mafikeng
Oscar Mpetha Liz Abrahams
OSCAR
Mpetha
LIZ
Abrahams
Chris Dlamini Jay Naidoo
CHRIS
Dlamini
JAY
Naidoo

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Press Room  |  Press Statements

Last updated: 30 May 2018

Passing of Three Bills Into Law By The National Assembly

30 May 2018

The Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) strongly condemns the passing of the National Minimum Wage and Amendments to the Labour Relations Act by the National Assembly as insensitive and despicable.

FAWU, with 125 000 members and representing some of the vulnerable workers, such as farm and forestry workers as well as those working in fast-food outlets and retail stores, is not convinced about the intellectually-dishonest assertions that the lifting of these workers` monthly wages to R3 500 or R20 an hour or R18 for farmworkers represent a meaningful progress.

With the current sectoral determination in agriculture at R16.25c an hour the R18 minimum wage an hour for farmworkers will mean a rise by a mere R1.75c an hour. Whilst this adjustment of 10.8% will lead to hundreds of thousands of farmworkers "lifted" from a low base of R16.25c and into a new "improved" yet poverty base of R18 it is not meaningful at all. In fact, the aftermath of the De Doorns-inspired uprisings never led to a shut-down of the agricultural sector despite a more than 50% adjustment.

This is the reason we reject the R20-an-hour as very little; and worse still is the R11-an-hour, R15-an-hour and R18-an-hour; and we are no under illusion that a minimum wage is a living wage but we do not accept that minimum wage must be meaningless a policy intervention.

In addition, we reject with contempt the amendments to the Labour Relations Act that will effectively outsource the right to strike to a determination by some individual commissioners instead of those workers who wish to strike given that this right is entrenched in the Constitution of the Republic.

FAWU will support the legal action to be taken by the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) in referring this matter to the Constitutional Court as well as mobilize workers for a three-day National Strike and Strike Actions by SAFTU and working class organizations and civil society formations.

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