May Day important says Ramaphosa

May Day important says Ramaphosa
Cyril Ramaphosa - Image - Die Vryburger
Workers Day is an important day that many in South Africa fought for, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday.

“This is a day for workers. It is an important day that we fought for,” he said.

Addressing workers at a Cosatu rally in Hectorspruit, Mpumalanga, the Deputy President said following the injustices of the past, in present day South Africa, workers have the right to join their unions of choice.

“Anyone has the right to join a union,’ said the Deputy President to loud cheer from the crowd.

This as it has been reported that a banana farm near Hectorspruit has previously fired workers for wanting to join labour unions.

Sporting his National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) jacket and cap, the Deputy President said he is aware of the challenges that face workers. The Deputy President is a former secretary of the NUM. He was the union’s first secretary when it was formed in 1982.

He told those attending the gathering that workers should not be fired for wanting to join a labour union. He added that workers are entitled to their rights including that of safety at work and not being underpaid.

National minimum wage

Deputy President Ramaphosa also took the opportunity to remind workers of the national minimum wage, which will come into effect on 1 May 2018.

The national minimum wage has been set at R20 per hour or R3500 per month for those that work a 40-hour week. Those who work a 45-hour week will have their minimum wage set at R3900.

The Deputy President said that plans are underway to ensure the implementation of the national minimum wage ahead of 2018.

In South Africa, Workers’ Day has been officially observed since 1994. Workers’ Day which is also known as May Day is a public holiday that originated within the historical struggles of workers and their trade unions for solidarity between working people, and in their struggles to achieve fair employment standards.

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