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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements

EASTERN CAPE 24 HOUR STRIKE ACTION HELD TODAY

18 August 1997

Today more than 95% of workers from the COSATU Eastern Cape Region went out in support of their demands on the Basic Conditions of Employment Bill. While we are saying 95% heeded the call, in most individual companies especially the "most organised" there was a 100% stay away.

Today's action is the first in a series of Four days rolling mass action in the country. This indicates the support that the federation has for its demands. It sends a clear message to business that workers are willing to go out in support of their own demands, and this will continue to happen unless employers change their attitudes. We reiterate our call to business to revise their positions and mandates. They should not rely on their "war chest" or litigation but on commitment to have a bill go through parliament this year. Even at this late stage COSATU calls on employers to revise their positions and support our demands :

Six months maternity of which at least four should be paid; A forty hour working week without loss of wages phased in over a period of no more than five years; The proposed employment Bill should be a floor of minimum standards. 16 years as a threshold for prohibition of children to work.

COSATU reiterates its call to other members who are still to embark on the 24 Hour Strike not to be intimidated but to emulate the example as set up by the Eastern Cape Region.

The following Eastern Cape areas participated in the marches :

Umtata; Butterworth; Queenstown; Port Elizabeth; King Williams Town; East London; Grahamstown; Idutywa; Flagstaff; Cradock; Alice and Uitenhage.

Enclosed is a copy of the Memorandum

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