Nothing to celebrate on Workers’ Day, say unions

Nothing to celebrate on Workers’ Day, say unions

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union (YNITU) believe  South Africans have nothing reason to celebrate on Workers’ Day.

strike7 SAA Numsa Down with retrnechments.PNG
Neo Motlaung

Workers’ Day, also known as International Labour Day, is celebrated on May the 1st every year.

Numsa says despite the sacrifices made by many during the struggle for freedom, the working class in South Africa continues to struggle.

“The Black and African working class are languishing in crippling poverty, in poorly developed townships and informal settlements all over the country. Access to quality education and healthcare remains an unattainable dream for the masses because the governing ANC has used its power to increase the power of a tiny capitalist minority, at the expense of the working-class majority. This is why we do not have much to celebrate as workers on Workers Day.”

Meanwhile, nurses’ union YNITU says South African healthcare also find themselves in a precarious position.

But the union’s General Secretary Lerato Mthunzi says the struggle is beyond wage and working conditions.

“It is difficult for us to celebrate days like ‘Freedom Day’ and ‘Workers Day’ and therefore this year the mood is sombre, because we have nothing to celebrate. We have lost all hope and unfortunately, the new generation, which is coming, is also not inspired to join the profession.

“The nursing profession is endangered. Those who do join, the majority seemingly do so mostly out of desperation because they want a job,” says Mthunzi.

ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address Cosatu’s Workers’ Day celebrations at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on Sunday.


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