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Saftu rejects, criticises DA’s proposed minimum wage plan

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Saftu rejects, criticises DA’s proposed minimum wage plan

Saftu has criticised the DA’s “plan” on the proposed minimum wage saying that the party “exposes its class roots.”

In a statement released on 9 April 2018, the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) said the Democratic Alliance (DA) is a party that has shown itself to be aligned with capital.

“The South African Federation of Trade Unions sees this as the clearest reason why workers and poor South Africans should have no illusions that the DA will ever act in their interests. It is, always been and always will be, a party of big business and the country’s privileged elite,” the trade union federation says.

Saftu’s criticism of the DA comes after the party resolved during its national elective congress, held on 7 and 8 April 2018 that workers should be allowed to opt out of the minimum wage. Under the plan, workers who have been unemployed for more than a year would be given an option to negotiate for salaries below the minimum wage.

DA MP and the party’s spokesperson on labour matters, Michael Bagraim, says the plan would enable the jobless to enter the job market and therefore make them more employable than if they were out of the labour market.

Saftu says has described the proposal as “absurd” as employers would have more power than before, and it would result in the unemployed accepting wages “just to get enough food on.”

Meanwhile Saftu affiliate, The National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa), says that it rejects the government’s proposed minimum wage of R3500.

Numsa spokersperson, Phakamile Hlubi says that the amount being proposed is a “poverty wage.”

“This democratic government of ours exists purely because of the South African working class sacrificed itself, its best and its brightest during apartheid and to end apartheid and now that they are here instead of them fighting so that workers earn a living wage, they continue to collude with business to come up with a poverty wage,” she said.

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