Despite warnings circulating, those participating in the national strike will travel to Bloemfontein.
Despite warnings of blockaded streets and schools being closed tomorrow (Wednesday) due to a national strike, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has indicated that no marches have been planned for the city.
Instead local Numsa members will join in the activities being planned in Bloemfontein.
The Regional Secretary of Numsa for the Northern Cape and Free State, Andile Zitho, said thousands of members from Numsa and the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) from the Northern Cape were expected to travel Bloemfontein tomorrow, where a march is being planned against the proposed national minimum wage.
“We expect about 12 000 members to participate in the strike in Bloemfontein. We have secured 20 buses from suppliers in the Northern Cape to transport members from as far as Upington. However, any worker who wants to join the strike can do so,” said Zitho.
He said the strike was aimed at opposing government’s new National Minimum Wage.
“This strike is for the next generation as we cannot sit back as the government implements a R20 an hour national minimum wage. The challenge is also that the current workforce will be replaced by those who are willing to work for that wage. We need to make it clear to government that the wage is not sufficient for workers,” said Zitho.
Saftu in a statement said members who want to participate in the strike must bear in mind that the “no work, no pay” rule would be applicable.
“The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) has given notice of its intention to initiate a one day national protest action. The protest action is aimed at highlighting the federation’s concerns surrounding the minimum wage, economic policy and free education. Employees who wish to participate in this protest action are entitled to do so and no disciplinary action for absenteeism may be instituted against such employees. The ‘no work, no pay’ rule will however be applicable,” the union said.
The union has called on workers across the country to stay away from work tomorrow and marches have been planned in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein and Polokwane.