‘Over 70% of workers in South Africa do not belong to any trade union’

‘Over 70% of workers in South Africa do not belong to any trade union’

As the world marks International Workers Day today, concerns are being raised that over 70% of workers in South Africa do not belong to any trade union.

However, some labour experts have blamed unions for not being more active in recruiting new members in the industries that they organise in.

Unions also say some employers are reluctant to let employees join unions.

Unions cite many reasons for workers not belonging to unions.

Cosatu Secretary in North West Kopano Konopi says, “There is still victimisation in a number of sectors when a worker join a trade union, employer are not hesitant to fire employees who are members of a trade union. The workers are still fearful of a trade union. They think a trade union are against them but as a trade union we are there to help and bring a labour peace in a work place.”

Workers’ Day celebrations:

Meanwhile, the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), in the Western Cape says it will picket outside Parliament on Workers’ Day today.

It says the aim of the picket is to highlight its concerns about the country’s rising unemployment.

Saftu National Spokesperson Trevor Shaku says, “In the Western Cape there will be a picket at the National Assembly to raise issues around unemployment, around wage cuts, wage freezes and what we consider an onslaught against in particular in this country. Budget cuts have serious effects on the ability of government to deliver.”

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