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EFF working on establishing a labour union: Malema

EFF leader Julius Malema has called for a grant for graduates struggling to get jobs. File photo.
EFF leader Julius Malema has called for a grant for graduates struggling to get jobs. File photo.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi/The Sunday Times

The EFF is working on establishing a labour union to address challenges faced by workers, its leader Julius Malema told a May Day rally in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, on Sunday.

Through its labour desk, the EFF has been helping workers notwithstanding their political party affiliation. Led by Hlengiwe Mkhalipi, the labour desk allows walk-ins at the party’s headquarters by workers experiencing issues.

Malema said despite its successes, the party is continually being taken to court by companies claiming the EFF does not have the jurisdiction to challenge worker-related issues as it is not a labour union.

“The labour desk of the EFF is doing very well. It is fighting battles day in and day out,” Malema said. “You know what they've resorted to now? Every time the EFF goes to intervene, they take us to court and say we’re not a union. We are fighting whether we are a union or not. As long as a black person is exploited, we are going to fight with those who exploit black people.”

Because of this, the EFF has decided to establish its own union, he said. The union will push the EFF’s policy position of insourcing workers, especially security staff and cleaners in municipalities and government departments.

“We are having a labour desk because we are preparing to have an EFF union. The union of EFF is inevitable,” Malema said.

He told supporters that the EFF union would not be a “Mickey Mouse union”.

“The unions in SA have taken the side of the employer, there is a vacuum on the side of the workers and nature does not allow a vacuum.

“Let the union of the EFF rise and occupy the vacuum and represent the workers of SA and the workers of the whole African continent. Because we are not only a SA organisation, we are an organisation of Africa. That’s why the EFF’s logo does not have a map of SA but that of Africa — because we are one.”

Malema said companies should stop giving jobs like cleaning and security to big corporates as they could easily employ locals to clean.

He called on communities to take the fight of employment and community development to the doorsteps of local mines, to demand they use their profits to tar roads and build state-of-the-art clinics, among other things.

He also called on the government to pay a grant to graduates struggling to get jobs.

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