The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) Western Cape has thrown its weight behind the striking parliamentary workers.
A thinly veiled threat to those wanting to return to work has also been sent by National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) branch chairperson Sthembiso Tembe, who urged protesters to arrive early on Tuesday so they could “identify the sell-outs”.
Addressing the workers outside Parliament on Monday, Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich issued an ultimatum to the institution.
“I pledge to you that if this matter is not resolved today, no-one will come into Parliament tomorrow. We want to say to all South Africans that what Parliament is doing to Nehawu is unfair and it must be made right.”
Ehrenreich said Cosatu workers were ready to join Parliament strikers outside the institution anytime they were needed, adding if workers were exploited inside Parliament, all workers were exploited.
“We must remind this Parliament that we have built this country on the solidarity of our people and we will not be divided by the tactics of management here.”
He said ANC representatives inside Parliament needed to remember they did not represent their jackets, but the millions of ANC members across the country.
“They must be reminded about what we stand for in South Africa and if they can’t remember that, then maybe they don’t have a place inside here.”
He praised the protesters for standing firm.
The protesters dispersed early on Monday in the hope of getting good news on Tuesday. National Nehawu leaders were scheduled to meet Parliament management on Monday. News24