Federation disappointed the ANC government is reversing workers’ gains after all the support workers have given it.
TRADE union federation Cosatu on Tuesday accused President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration of betraying workers following the Constitutional Court ruling dismissing the public servants’ application to enforce the 2018 wage agreement.
On Monday, in a unanimous judgment, the ConCourt dismissed the attempt by 10 public sector unions to overturn the December 2020 judgment of the Labour Appeal Court, which found the enforcement of the final leg of the three-year deal was invalid and unlawful and had been concluded in contravention of the Public Service Regulations.
“This is a betrayal of the workers by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration,” Cosatu said in response to the judgment.
The federation blamed the government for targeting public servants.
“In dealing with a stagnant economy that has been mismanaged to the ground by policymakers, and in reducing the budget deficit, as it always happens in crisis situations, the government has decided to target public servants. In this regard, the focus is on the lower levels in the public service hierarchy rather than the bloated managerial or executive levels,” Cosatu added.
The federation warned the outcome of the ConCourt case would likely cause labour instability in the public service as workers would never accept a multi-year agreement again.
“It is disappointing that this ANC administration is reversing workers’ gains after all the support workers have given to it,” Cosatu said.
It called on all unions to unite, break down political divides and bring workers of all political persuasions together to fight a common oligarchic class that is hell-bent on crushing the working class.
“The message to workers from this court ruling is that this administration has long ago walked out on workers and unions. The social compact that is being proposed is demanding that workers stop demanding wage increases and that the current labour law regime be weakened,” Cosatu said.
According to the federation, it is now obvious that Ramaphosa’s administration will not save workers as it has sold them out to the billionaire class and they (workers) can only save themselves.
”The only way left to change the balance of power and force concessions from the ruling capitalist class is for workers to exert their power by mobilising and fighting. This is a class war,” said Cosatu.
– Political Bureau