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Afrique du sud : COSATU responds to court interdict

D 24 août 2010     H 05:14     A Patrick Craven     C 0 messages

COSATU has noted the Labour Court interdict granted to the state, which prohibits workers in essential services from participating in the public servants strike, from intimidating or assaulting non-striking employees and members of the public, and preventing damage of any property belonging to the state or the erection of obstructions to any state property.

The Labour Court also ordered that the public sector unions that are participating in the strike will pay the costs of the interdict application.

COSATU reaffirms its total support for the strike by the public service unions for their fully justified demands for a living wage and better working conditions. Once again we insist that the government should urgently return to the bargaining council with a new offer which can be negotiated and put to the members, so that the dispute can be resolved and the strike ended as early as possible.

COSATU regrets the disruption to public services which the strike has caused and any violent incidents or damage to property, and maintains its insistence that all actions during the strike must be conducted in a peaceful, disciplined and lawful manner and condemns acts of violence or intimidation by anyone.

The federation will not however accept that all such incidents can be blamed on striking workers. There is clear evidence of provocative actions by management and police.

COSATU also calls for an urgent agreement on essential services which defines precisely which workers can be banned from striking and will oppose any attempt to use the interdict to try to force any non-essential workers back to work.

To prevent any such incidents COSATU demands that there must be consultation at local level between the unions, management and state authorities to establish guidelines for picketing so that strikers can exercise their legal right to talk to other workers and members of the public without any violence.

The federation remains willing at any time to facilitate talks between the parties so that progress towards a settlement can be speeded up.

Patrick Craven