Vavi demands BCM recognises union
Saftu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on Thursday led more than 100 disgruntled union members to the East London City Hall, demanding the city recognise their union.
The workers are affiliated to the Democratic Municipal and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (Demawusa).
The union is also not recognised a year after its launch in municipalities such as Intsika Yethu and Amathole district municipality.
Addressing supporters, Vavi punted Demawusa as a union that would fight for workers. He said every employer had a responsibility to bargain with its employees irrespective of the number of employees.
Vavi claimed that the agreement signed by the Buffalo City Metro and Samwu prohibited the municipality from recognising another labour union if it is less than 15% of the membership of Samwu.
“The 800-member threshold nonsense [with regard to Samwu] is over. The recent Constitutional Court ruling has set aside the 15% threshold rule and that has ushered in a new era for labour unions,” said Vavi.
The SA Correctional Services Workers Union (Sacoswu) went to the ConCourt opposing an appeal by Popcru to overturn a lower court’s ruling. The lower court had ruled that Sacoswu be recognised at correctional services department despite not meeting the threshold set by Popcru.
“From now all unions have the right to represent their members and bargain on their behalf. And all employers now have a duty to grant minority unions organisational rights,” Vavi said.
Mayor Xola Pakati told the Daily Dispatch that the union had approached the municipality last week and it had been hardly seven days after that interaction.
“These people were here last week. Even last week we applied decency and went to listen to their grievances. Today they are here again. What must happen now,” Pakati said.
Members continued to stand outside the city hall, saying the BCM had been enjoying “golden glove treatment from Samwu” and that it was time for change.
Lethukuthula Makhubalo, who took part in the march, said BCM was comfortable with Samwu and that they were in a “bed together”.
“Our people will never be free and will never be taken seriously by the BCM if they still pin their hopes on Samwu, Makhubalo said.