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Cosatu: It’s illegal for employers to force employees to work on election day

Reports have emerged that some companies have sent correspondence to their employees that they must report to work on election day.

FILE: Ga-Rankuwa residents queue to cast their votes at Bachana Mokoena Primary School. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Cosatu says it is illegal for employers to coerce workers to work on 8 May because it’s a public holiday.

“Any instruction that requires workers to report for duty on 8 May with no exception is unlawful because any worker deemed to be essential service would have voted on 6 and 7 May under the special vote,” Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi said.

Reports have emerged that some companies have sent correspondence to their employees that they must report to work on election day, despite President Cyril Ramaphosa declaring Wednesday a public holiday to allow workers to vote.

Losi said the trade union federation had received several complaints from its members, particularly in the retail sector, about employers asking them to report for duty on Wednesday.

"We have written to the Independent Electoral Commission and Business Unity South Africa, and they have responded and gave us an undertaking that indeed it will be illegal for employers to coerce workers to be at work tomorrow when this day is a holiday," she said.

Listen to the audio below for more:

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)