Cosatu President S’dumo Dlamini has called on workers to defend the federation and fight to end the pending job losses in the current economic climate.
He said workers faced multiple challenges and that Cosatu was the only federation that could defend them.
Dlamini was addressing thousands of people at the federation’s May Day rally, celebrating International Workers’ Day in Pretoria, on Sunday.
He took a swipe at former members who were working on the establishment of a federation to rival Cosatu.
“We should defend the federation, we expelled people because of their wrong doing. We took the decision, not because we hate them, but because they violated the constitution of our federation,” said Dlamini, followed by loud applause from the crowd.
He said the crisis faced by workers was monopoly capital and they should not be derailed from this fight.
“Our enemy is the system of monopoly capital. Our battle is to fight capital. Those that are positioning themselves to fight Cosatu we are not paying attention to you. Whether they call you a Cosatu of yesteryear or government’s labour desk, don’t listen to them,” Dlamini added.
He applauded President Jacob Zuma for changes to the Unemployment Insurance Fund which included extension of payments from 8 months to 12 months.
Another success for Dlamini was that women who had miscarriages would after the enacting of the amendments be able to claim full contributions, just like women who had given birth.
He reiterated Cosatu’s call for government to ban labour brokers, e-tolls and the youth wage subsidy.
Some of the people who attended the rally had pinned their hopes on hearing solutions to the country’s unemployment rate.
Dressed in an ANC t-shirt and headscarf Nomfundo Zide (35) said government should build houses for the poor and create opportunities for the unemployed.
“I have worked contract jobs most of my life, now I want something permanent. The ANC must do something,” said Zide.
Meisie from Soweto said at the age of 52, her struggle was that she was too old to be employed.
“They will tell you we are looking for someone between the ages of 25 and 35 years. Government should create jobs for the unemployed people because we are closed outside,” said Meisie. IOL