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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements

SACTWU PROTEST ACTION OVER JOB LOSES

Issued by: Congress of South African Trade Unions

13 February 1996

SACTWU PROTEST ACTION OVER JOB LOSES - 14 FEBRUARY 1996

Tomorrow marks the beginning of a process of mobilisation against job loses in this country. COSATU supports the decision of the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union to take action to save thousands of jobs that are being lost in the clothing and textile industry.

The protest is directed at securing government support to save jobs threatened by trade liberalisation related policies. Over the last five months, 12 thousand jobs were lost in the industry. The union studies show that about 100 000 jobs would be lost over the next six years.

The action tomorrow will highlight the failure to date to support training and social adjustment programmes for workers prior to the trade liberalisation programme being put in place.

COSATU call on the government to:

  • investigate the ongoing custom fraud which is taking place in the custom excise.
  • Prosecute companies and individuals participating in or benefiting from fraudulent imports.
  • Back up the customs and excise function of government through the 12 point plan agreed to by the National Economic Forum in 1993.
  • Institute effective safeguards to protect local employers from the increasing flood of Chinese-made goods entering our market.
  • Commit its self to promote the inclusion of social clause in the International Trade Agreement.
  • Ensure that bilateral trade agreement which grant preferential access to South African markets comply with the following requirements
  • local jobs are not be sacrificed
  • Worker rights are to be promoted through formal social clause agreements
  • The content of the agreement to be jointly agreed by the key stakeholders nationally not unilaterally by government.

South Africa cannot afford policies which destroys our manufacturing capacity, which promotes joblessness and substantial human misery. COSATU calls on the public and consumers to back the SACTWU call for action. We further call on workers and the public to save jobs and help to create jobs in South Africa by purchasing local made clothing.

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