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Publication Details

Reference
South African Protest News 28 November - 4 December 2010 (2010) South African Protest News 28 November - 4 December 2010.  : -.

Summary
Pictures from Johannesburg Global Day of Action
Earthlife 4 December 2010

A few select pictures from today’s march through Johannesburg, demanding a solution to climate change (limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius) and an end to nuclear madness as part of the Global Day of Action, where millions across the globe insist on an end to bickering politicians not agreeing to a legally binding, fair and just climate change deal at the UNFCCC.
http://www.earthlife.org.za/?p=1317


No Metrorail strike - for now
IOL News 3 December 2010

A possible strike by Cape Town Metrorail train drivers has been halted for now after a court ruling in this regard was made on Friday afternoon.

“The interim relief was granted to Metrorail for no strike action to be taken from Monday,” said United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utata) general secretary Chris de Vos.

“Final judgment will be made on Thursday.”

The Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) applied to the Labour Court to have the Cape Town strike declared unlawful.

On Thursday, Prasa and the unions would have to submit full arguments on the matter.

Utatu and the SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) embarked on strike action in Cape Town earlier this week to protest against changes to their shift roster.

Most Utatu members had returned to work by Thursday, but Satawu indicated its members would strike again on Sunday, which would then have impacted on Monday morning services.

Utatu members were set to strike from midnight on Sunday.

On Friday, De Vos said the union was disappointed that the resolution to this issue had to be made in a courtroom.

“We should rather sit around the table and resolve the problem.”

However, Satawu regional secretary Thandubuntu Roto said that his union had in any case already resolved the issue out of court with management.

He said they had called off their strike after it was agreed upon not to implement the new roster.

“Management agreed with us to go to the old roster. We withdrew our strike.”

However, Prasa spokesperson Nana Zenani said that “very very intense negotiations” around the new roster system had already taken place in May.

“We cannot go back to the old roster. We had an agreement. That agreement was reached through negotiation.” -
www.iolnews.co.za


COSATU North West and NUM action
Cosatu 2 December 2010

The Congress of South African Trade Unions and its affiliate NUM will be marching to the company called Kopane Bricks to demand a full detailed response on the memorandum submitted to the employer on 26 November 2010.

The all-BEE company, which has exploited workers for years and has not paid workers for the past four months. Workers are working under bad conditions, which include non-compliance on the OHS, BCEA and LRA. The worst is discrimination against workers who belong to NUM.

The company is leading the campaign for union bashing. Workers will be marching from Khuma township to Kopano Bricks company in Stilfontein (Matlosana) on 3rd December 2010 from 10h00-14h00.

The action is part of COSATU fighting for the rights of workers on the street and the continuation of exposing super-exploitation of our members.

Media is invited to the protest action at Kopano Bricks main gate Stilfontein.

For more information feel free to call COSATU NW provincial secretary Solly Nani Phetoe on 082 304 4055


14 MEMBERS OF EARTHLIFE ILLEGALLY ARRESTED FOR PICKETING AT DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY’S IRP2 PUBLIC HEARINGS IN MIDRAND
EarthLife 2 December 2010

Earlier today, fourteen members of Earthlife Africa (Johannesburg) were illegally arrested for participating in a legal picket in front of the Department of Energy’s (DoE) IRP2 Public Hearing in Midrand. The fourteen have been charged with ‘illegal gathering’ and ‘public indecency’ and are presently being held at the Midrand Police Station.

Despite the fact that according to the Gatherings Act of South Africa, any gathering of less than 15 people does not require prior ‘approval’ from police, Earthlife Africa (Johannesburg) had applied for and received, written approval for the picket from the JMPD several days ago. Nonetheless, when the activists began their picket – to protest against the DoE moving forward with further coal-fired power generation projects and its stated intent to expand South Africa’s nuclear power generation – they were summarily arrested by Midrand SAPS and forcibly carted off to the police station. Evidently, the charge of ‘public indecency’ was applied because the picketers were wearing bright clothing!

Earthlife Africa (Johannesburg) Director, Tristen Taylor has condemned the arrests as “a shocking example of abuse of police power … We were engaged in a legal protest over crucially important issues of interest to the South African public … this kind of action is totally unacceptable.”

For further information and comment contact:
TRISTEN TAYLOR on 084 250-2434


Strike at Early Bird Chickens
Cosatu 2 December 2010

2000 members of the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) employed at Early Bird Chickens at Olifantsfontein have been on strike action since 24th November 2010, following a failure by the company to meet their demands.

They are to hold a meeting at the factory today, 2 December 2010, at 13h00, which will be addressed by COSATU President, Sidumo Dlamini. The address of the factory is 15, Industrial Road, Olifantsfontein.

The union's two main demands are 8% wage increment and permanent employment of 1 170 casual workers who have been working on permanent basis for several years now, in addition to medical subsidy.

They are also demanding that the company stop illegally using their industrial premises as a hostel for scab workers.

Meanwhile, the union has begun to mobilize the rest of its members to be ready to support a call of solidarity actions in support of Early Bird striking workers.

Please call the FAWU Gauteng Provincial Chairperson, Norman Chauke, on 083 420 5553 or COSATU Gauteng Provincial Chairperson, Phutas Tseki, on 082 498 5840, for more information.


No end in sight for train strike
IOL News 1 December 2010

The unannounced industrial action by Cape Town's Metrorail staff, which resulted in no trains running today, has plunged transport in Cape Town into chaos.
Watch Video

Trains back for now
Metrorail services to resume Thursday
IOL News 2 December 2010

Trains are to run again on Thursday after Wednesday’s wildcat strike, but unions warn a legal strike is to follow within days.

The illegal strike over shift changes and overtime pay caused havoc for tens of thousands of Metrorail commuters.

Unions have given Metrorail 48 hours notice of the intention to go on a legal strike.

This after about 160 000 commuters were left fuming and had to use taxis or buses to get to work yesterday when members of the United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu) and the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) downed tools over shift changes and overtime pay.

Following urgent talks with Metrorail and the company’s warning that it would interdict them, union leaders said the strike was “suspended until further notice”.

Metrorail said the relief for commuters may be short-lived, and it would challenge the legality of the strike notice.

“Trains will start to operate as and when train operations staff return to work. Metrorail continues to advise people with urgent appointments or students writing examinations to make alternative arrangements. Metrorail apologises for the unintended disruptions and the inconvenience to commuters,” Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott said.

While Satawu provincial secretary Thandubuntu Roto defended the illegal strike, Utatu general secretary Chris de Vos said: “We received a letter from Metrorail’s lawyers that if we did not return to work, they will go to court.”

Transport and Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle slammed the unions and Metrorail for failing commuters. He said they should have resolved their dispute without inconveniencing commuters. He slammed the unions’ action as “irresponsible”. “It is outrageous. They are playing with the needs of over 160 000 commuters.”

Carlisle said contingency measures used during the Metrorail wage strike in May were being reintroduced.

This includes Golden Arrow buses operating extra peak time trips, taxis helping with extra trips and employers being asked to stagger work hours.

“I suspect we have another strike coming up next week. We are ready for all eventualities, but this is an unsatisfactory situation,” Carlisle said.

Roto said union members had decided to strike in response to Metrorail’s intention to implement shift changes that would result in reduction of overtime pay.

“Metrorail wanted to implement it today. We said the issues were negotiated nationally so why can’t we go back to national and negotiate it there. The strike is suspended and members will return to work (Thursday),” he said.

About the illegal strike’s impact, Roto said: “Why should we give notice? We are saying the strike is legal. Inconvenience to commuters was by Metrorail not us.”

Commuters interviewed yesterday criticised Metrorail and the unions for being inconsiderate. “All these people care about is making money, they don’t think about the customers. Yesterday I bought two monthly tickets for myself and my wife, now we have to pay extra money on taxis. They could have told us,” said Thabile Mabala who was waiting for a taxi to Khayelitsha at the chaotic taxi rank.

Clive Manuel, who had to walk from Claremont to the city yesterday to get to work, said: “There were no trains and the queues at taxis were long. I’m going to walk again tonight because it doesn’t look any better than this morning.

“We can’t work like this.”

Some commuters scrambled to get into taxis first. A group jumped the queue. Some people shoved one another around for a ride home.

Golden Arrow Bus Services spokesperson Bronwen Dyke said its services were stretched yesterday, but the company assisted Metrorail passengers who had valid weekly or monthly train tickets. They could use their tickets on buses from 8am to 3.30pm and from 6.30pm to 5.30am, during the rail strike.

“This is done in fairness to Golden Arrow customers and to avoid overcrowding,” Dyke said.

“Rail commuters boarding a Golden Arrow bus outside of these hours will have to pay the cash fare.

“Golden Arrow will operate additional trips to and from the areas where there is the greatest demand and we will continue to operate until all passengers waiting at bus stops have been assisted,” she said.

Meanwhile Cape Chamber of Commerce said many companies had reported that workers arrived late for duty yesterday and had to be released early so they could find transport.

Chamber president Michael Bagraim said: “Public transport should be declared an essential service as strikes in the industry could cause massive disruptions, undermine productivity and lead to major financial losses. In cases like this it is the public, workers in other industries and businesses that are hurt and not the employer.” - Cape Times
www.iol.co.za

Metrorail management must urgently resolve Cape Town train strike!
Sactwu 1 December 2010

COSATU’s largest trade union in the Western Cape, the Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has taken note of the unexpected train strike in Cape Town today. We are very concerned about the effect that this strike will have on the clothing, textile and leather industry. We have been briefed this morning by our sister COSATU union, the South African Transport & Allied workers’ Union (SATAWU) regarding the matter and have been advised that the dispute involves a unilateral attempt by Metrorail management to impose a new train shift roster on Metrorail workers. We call on Metrorail management to urgently meet with SATAWU to find an urgent resolution of this matter.

In our press release of earlier this morning, we stated that we were conducting a snap survey about the effect of the strike on our industry and might issue a further statement later today.

We confirm that we have now completed the snap survey and the outcomes are as follows:

-the survey was telephonically conducted by SACTWU Head Office staff;

-the survey information was supplied by factory production managers;

-the survey measures attendance at work as at 10h30 today;

-a total of 57 clothing factories in Cape Town metro area were surveyed;

-the surveyed factories employ 13 104 workers, of which 1710 (13%) were either late or absent;

-the normal average absentee rate at the factories covered in our survey is about 5%.

The percentage late or absentee breakdown by industrial area was as follows:

· Cape Town CBD: 26%
· Elsies River : 10%
· Epping: 15%
· Maitland: 24%
· Observatory: 26%
· Salt River: 9%
· Woodstock: 22%
·

SACTWU does not support unilateral changes to terms and conditions of employment and we urge Metrorail management to settle their dispute with our sister union SATAWU as soon as possible.

Issued by
Andre Kriel
SACTWU
General Secretary

If further comment is required, kindly contact Fachmy Abrahams, Co-ordinator in the Office of the General Secretary on 021 4474570.

Sactwu calls on Metrorail to urgently resolve Cape Town train strike
Sactwu 1 December 2010

COSATU’s largest trade union in the Western Cape, the Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) has taken note of the unexpected train strike in Cape Town today. We are very concerned about the effect that this strike will have on the clothing, textile and leather industry. We have been briefed this morning by our sister COSATU union, the South African Transport & Allied workers’ Union (SATAWU) regarding the matter and have been advised that the dispute involves a unilateral attempt by Metrorail management to impose a new train shift roster on Metrorail workers. We call on Metrorail management to urgently meet with SATAWU to find an urgent resolution of this matter.

SACTWU is in the process of conducting a snap survey about the effect of the strike on our industry and might issue a further statement later today.

Issued by
Andre Kriel
SACTWU
General Secretary

If further comment is required, kindly contact Fachmy Abrahams, Co-ordinator in the Office of the General Secretary on 021 4474570. The SATAWU Regional Secretary in the Western Cape can be contacted on cell number 0780386791.


Boksburg informal settlement unrest
IOL News 30 November 2010

Residents living in the Boksburg area blocked entrances and exits to Reiger Park and Ramaphosa informal settlement on Tuesday, Ekurhuleni police said.
Metro police spokesman Kobeli Mokheseng, said the entrances and exits to Reiger Park and Ramaphosa were blocked with rocks, “foreign objects”, and burning tyres from 9am.

Mokheseng said the unrest was caused by different groups of people claiming to live within the vicinity.

The affected intersections were Archie Jonas and Old Elsburg, Leon Ferreira and Commissioner, including Old Elsburg and Commissioner.

“It is not clear at this stage what the protest is all about and we are closely monitoring the situation to ensure safety and security,” Mokheseng said in a statement.

The Ekurhuleni public order policing unit was attending the scene for crowd control purposes, along with police and members of the “red ants”.

Motorists were advised to use alternative routes. - Sapa
www.iol.co.za


Boksburg protesters block roads
News24 30 November 2010

Johannesburg - Residents living in the Boksburg area blocked entrances and exits to Reiger Park and Ramaphosa informal settlement on Tuesday, Ekurhuleni police said.

Metro police spokesperson Kobeli Mokheseng, said the entrances and exits to Reiger Park and Ramaphosa were blocked with rocks, "foreign objects", and burning tyres from 09:00.

Mokheseng said the unrest was caused by different groups of people claiming to live within the vicinity.

The affected intersections were Archie Jonas and Old Elsburg, Leon Ferreira and Commissioner, including Old Elsburg and Commissioner.

"It is not clear at this stage what the protest is all about and we are closely monitoring the situation to ensure safety and security," Mokheseng said.

The Ekurhuleni public order policing unit was attending the scene for crowd control purposes, along with police and members of the "red ants".

Motorists were advised to use alternative routes.
www.news24.com


Animal activists protest against animal cruelty
Gatvol 28 November 2010

Animal activists reported that they are outraged by people who are still not taking responsibility for the products they buy.

Several anti-animal cruelty groups took part in an anti-fur demonstration at the Hyde Park shopping centre in northern Johannesburg on Saturday.

Splattered in fake blood and displaying themselves as in cages, the activists said it is not only wild animals that are being skinned for their fur, but domestic animals such as cats and dogs as well.

The fur and skins of these animals can be found in the children’s toys like stuffed animals.

Radio personality, Jeremy Mansfield took part in Saturday’s demonstration.

“It is a sick business and that is why we are trying to get as much publicity out there as we can, so that people can understand what they are actually buying,” he said.
www.gatvol.co.za


COSATU fight against bail for three racist farmers
Cosatu 30 November 2010

The Congress of South Africa Trade Unions in the North West, with the farm workers and the community of Ottosdal will be back at the Ottosdal magistrates court during the bail hearing of three white racist who allegedly assaulted farm workers very badly

The three racist farmers were denied bail last week Tuesday on 23 November 2010 at the same magistrates court.

COSATU and the community of Ottosdal will be picketing, to demonstrate their anger outside the magistrate court demanding that the three racist must not be granted bail

COSATU demands that the NPA should show their side of defending the South Africans or defending their friends in particular those who have the power of money to corrupt our system.

COSATU is demanding that the police should arrest all those white racists farmers who belong to the so called Noord wes Plaaslike Veilegeheid who are busy assaulting and killing farm workers including racial attack against African black community of Ottosdal.

COASTU is calling the farmers to indicate to the public what is their real issue against the farm workers and is calling all farmers who are prepared to engage with the federation to do so and they will are welcomed to deal with those challenges. Those who have decide to be the enemy of the working class we will fight them back in due course

We have been complaining about the racial killing of farm workers. We have handed memorandums to the police, including the NPA and there is no action

The continuation of the killing and assaulting of farm workers in racial attacks and racial evictions is a clear picture that our provincial and national government are undermining the poor farm workers and that they care about those who are white with capital

Media is invited to the demonstration from 9H00 to 15H00

For more information contact Solly Phetoe, COSATU Provincial Secretary of North West at 082 304 4055


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