GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - NEWS - Covid-19 keeps having the last say. It appears that the national socio-economic strike called out by Cosatu (Congress of South African Trade Unions) on Wednesday 7 October was not well supported in the Southern Cape region, mainly because the principle of "no work, no pay" applied.
In the current economic conditions, most people cannot afford to lose a day's wage.
According to an earlier Cosatu statement, the federation encouraged workers to exercise their right to challenge and contest what they called "this rigged economic system".
On Wednesday, Cosatu delivered a memorandum with grievances to the Department of Labour in George. Amongst others they want corruption to be addressed.
Patrick Brown, Cosatu coordinator in the Garden Route, confirmed that "no work no pay" applied on the day. According to information he received, many workers did not go to work and the strike was successful.
Companies and business leaders who spoke to George Herald said most of the workers, and in many cases all of them, turned up for work.
A representative of a company in George that has more than 100 workers said all of the workers turned up. Chairperson of the AHi Western Cape, Dr Willie Cilliers, said he had contact with several members and companies in the region.
He agreed that the implementation of "no work no pay" could be the reason, but said that Cosatu has some valid reasons for the strike, with the non-payment of the UIF-Ters funds among those. Government should take notice of the message of the strike and start implementing the payments.
Regional secretary of the SACP Langa Langa said the party fully supports the strike. It is important to bring matters that have been hidden by employers to the forefront.
Some workers in private companies haven't received grant funding for Covid-19. "It is known to us that some of the companies have received the money but haven't paid it to the workers. The strike also places corruption in the private sector in the spotlight," he said.
He knows of workers who put in a day's leave to take part in the strike. "We commend the workers for doing that. It is another to contributor to the success of the strike."
Oudtshoorn Courant reported that at three big companies in the town, all the workers turned up for work. At Cape Karoo International, 20 workers at the abattoir were absent.
Suid-Kaap Forum in Riversdale reported that at all the main employers' workers in turned up for work.
In Knysna it was also business as usual. According to Blake Linder of Knysna Plett-Herald, the general manager at 34 South, Keith Davis said, "We luckily have not been affected by Cosatu's call for strike today, at none of our restaurants. Everything is up and running with no issues."
Metelerkamps and Builders Express also said they were not impacted by the call for a strike.
Mossel Bay Advertiser reported there were no Cosatu protests on Wednesday morning. In general it looked as if workers turned up work at companies.
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