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Saftu: National strike will be peaceful

Saftu has distanced itself from messages doing the rounds on social media warning that Wednesday's nationwide strike against the proposed minimum wage will be violent.

Saftu leadership brief the media on their planned mass action against the propose national minimum wage. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN – The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has distanced itself from messages doing the rounds on social media warning that Wednesday's nationwide strike against the proposed minimum wage will be violent.

Saftu is leading the one-day industrial action in protest to a raft of draft labour laws, which includes a bill on the national minimum wage.

The message says South Africans not participating in the mass action should stay off the roads, public transport and keep their children out of school.

Saftu's Patrick Craven says the message is malicious.

“People have nothing to fear. We’ll do everything we possibly can to make sure that the events we organise are peaceful and orderly. We don’t want these messages to distract people from joining the strike.”

The union's marches against the proposed R20 per hour minimum wage will be in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein and Polokwane.

‘IRRESPONSIBLE GRANDSTANDING’

Meanwhile, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) have distanced themselves from a national strike on Wednesday.

“Irresponsible grandstanding”, that’s how Fedusa has described the Saftu-led strike.

It’s rebuffed a call from the federation to back Wednesday’s strike.

Fedusa’s Frank Nxumalo says: “The strike is highly irresponsible. It is a cheap grandstanding by Saftu. At the moment, the country’s unemployment rate is 26.7%, according to Stats SA.”

Nxumalo adds that Fedusa, along with two other labour federations Cosatu and the National Council of Trade Unions, has worked hard during the ongoing national minimum wage negotiations.

Cosatu says it supports the national minimum wage and has no reason to strike over something that will benefit workers.

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