FEDUSA Supports the Right to Strike but Condemns Acts of Violence That Endangers the Public
09 March 2023
The Leadership of the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has noted with major concern and dismay the number of violent attacks that have happened since the start of industrial action on 06 March 2023, albeit being interdicted by Government.
#FEDUSA recognizes that the sanctity of collective bargaining must be safeguarded within the framework of Labour Relations Act, (LRAS), but under no circumstances must industrial action be accompanied by nor associated with intimidation, violence, and the risk to livelihoods, as has been seen in recent media reports.
Whilst #FEDUSA Public Sector Unions participated in peaceful protests and strike action during November and December 2022, updated mandates from members, directed the #FEDUSA Unions to refocus their attention on the current negotiations. Henceforth, none of the #FEDUSA public sector unions are participating in the current process which is being marred by unnecessary and unwanted attention that only serves to discredit the entire public service membership.
#FEDUSA has received numerous reports from members being intimidated, prevented from working, and even assaulted. These deliberate attacks of violence on fellow members and now the public at large, alongside attempts to destabilise service delivery aligned to essential services such as healthcare is strongly objected by #FEDUSA. It is a fact that once anyone is denied access to healthcare, property is destroyed, or patients or employees are physically harmed, they are partaking in criminal activities and not on strike.
#FEDUSA demands that the Minister of Police take full control and ensure that all healthcare facilities in South Africa are safeguarded so that desperate South Africans in need of emergency healthcare, can access the facilities without being subjected to any form of violence or risk losing their lives. Essential Services Personnel affiliated to public sector unions fully understand their role and responsibility in society, as documented in the Labour Relations Act (LRA), which prevents them from striking. Who will then take responsibility when loss of lives occurs due to irresponsible actions? Accountability and the full might of the law must prevail.
#FEDUSA affiliates respect the law and the concept of essential services and will not willingly deny anyone their right to healthcare services. Not in our Name!
#FEDUSA Public Sector Unions and other unions in the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) that constitute the majority in the Chamber, are not participating in the strike and appeal for calm in the interest of the South African Public to safeguard lives and livelihood.
However, #FEDUSA also notes that the employer has failed its employees and ultimately the public, the vast majority of whom have no option but to utilize public health facilities that are no longer safe, clean, and often dysfunctional. This action is affecting the majority of South Africans who rely on public healthcare facilities, and #FEDUSA affiliates will not advance or support any actions that erode human rights.
#FEDUSACares #PublicSector #IndustrialAction
Please note: All interviews should be directed to the Deputy Secretary General Ashley Benjamin, 083 258 4433 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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