Security workers belonging to the South African Transport and Allied workers Union (SATAWU), an affiliate of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), have been on a national wage strike since March 23, 2006. The bosses in the Security Sector are refusing to meet our demand of an 11% wage increase and four months paid maternity leave. They have, instead, settled at 8% with 14 other unions representing a minority section of workers within the sector. Currently, the lowest wage within the sector for grade e guard is one-thousand and fifty rands (R1 050, 00), a figure that can barely make ends meet for the super-exploited, vulnerable but hard-working security workers exposed to danger and risk on a daily basis.
The intransigence of the bosses in this Sector stems from the fact that most of them are former apartheid state security personnel who have become business persons. They conduct business in a manner resembling their commanding apartheids murderous state machinery. Furthermore, the ever-profit-seeking multi-nationals like ADT, Chubb and Group Four among others are also not interested in the welfare of workers in the country but only making super-profits. Hence, their total refusal to accede to the 11% wage increase and four months paid maternity leave which they can easily afford as the industry made R16 billion profit in the last financial year.
SATAWU, therefore proposes that Union Network International (UNI) as our global federation urge all relevant affiliates to show solidarity with the striking security workers in our country by faxing the attached standard protest letter (which could be amended) to the following employer associations to bring maximum pressure to bear so that they return to the table and negotiate in good faith to resolve the dispute and thereby ending the protracted strike.
We also sincerely request that you consider a once off financial donation to assist particularly with regard to legal expenditure given many arrests and contracting of lawyers thus far. We would also appreciate if such financial assistance could also be requested from relevant affiliates as the situation is dire.
We look forward to an action orientated response from our brothers and sisters in solidarity with our striking members.
Yours in Struggle for Better Conditions and a Living Wage!!
General Secretary of South African Transport and Allied workers Union