Thursday, April 30, 2009

COSATU Plans 36 May Day Rallies

JOHANNESBURG 29 April 2009 Sapa


The Congress of SA Trade Unions will mark Workers' Day on May 1 with 36 rallies around the country, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Wednesday.

Members of the trade union federation would be celebrating 15
years of democracy, as well as the African National Congress
victory in the recent elections, he told journalists in

"Cosatu played no small role in the ANC's victory. Now we are
mobilising for our own interests. We want decent work, more jobs. We are also mobilising for the commitment, made to restructure the economy, to be realised."

Vavi said Cosatu's national rally - to be addressed by its
president Sidumo Dlamini, ANC president Jacob Zuma and SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande - would be held at Mdantsane, East London.

The many rallies - between three and 10 in each province -
were proof of the unity within the tripartite alliance, he said.

Vavi said there would like to see an effective government.

"We want to see the best talents utilised effectively. We want to see fresh blood, unity, continuity and loyalty to the Polokwane [ANC conference held in December 2007] resolutions."

Vavi said Cosatu was "very happy" about how consultations
between it and the ANC on the formation of the new government were going, and said the trade union federation was going to be "reaping and benefiting" from the fruits of its labour.

Cosatu expected the new president to provide leadership on a
daily basis on how the country should deal with issues at hand.

"We want the ANC government to implement the commitments made to the poor and working class," Vavi said.

He also called on employers not to "undermine the hard won
holidays" by forcing people to go to work.

"We are also calling on government to declare a no-trading day on April 27, May 1, June 16 and August 9. I know some workers would be working on Friday [Workers' Day] at retailers like Checkers, Spar and Pick 'n Pay."

Vavi said the trade union would also like to see "nothing less" than a two percent drop in inflation.

"Everybody knows that we have always been and are against
inflation targeting. Go to any of the four major banks in South Africa, they will show how many houses and cars that were repossessed because of that," he said.

President Kgalema Motlanthe is set to address the Cosatu rally at Themba Stadium in Hamanskraal, and Vavi will be speaking at the rally in Durban, along with the ANC's Cyril Ramaphosa and the SACP's Jeremy Cronin.

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