The National Education and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has called on the ANC to pay staff their outstanding salaries, saying the governing party has failed to stick to its promise to address employees’ grievances.
Nehawu, an affiliate of the ANC’s alliance partner, Cosatu, issued a scathing statement on Monday as disgruntled ANC staffers headed back to the picket lines over delays in the payment of their salaries.
Nehawu said in June, the ANC had promised to address workers’ demands after they embarked on strike action over their demands, which included – among others – the payment of outstanding salaries and contributions to the provident fund, Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and medical-aid benefits with immediate effect.
“As Nehawu, we are utterly astonished that ANC has not fulfilled its promises even after having made a serious commitment to them.
“Indeed, this confirms to us that the ANC has lost its moral and ethical compass as an organisation that is biased towards the poor and working class,” Nehawu said.
A majority of ANC workers have reportedly joined Nehawu and want the party to recognise the union as their representative.
With reports that some ANC employees have not been paid since August, the union called on the party to comply with the legislative frameworks and labour laws of the country by paying workers what is due to them.
Nehawu said it fully supported the struggle of the ANC staffers for improved conditions of service.
Nehawu said the ANC clearly does not value the contribution of their workers, who put aside their differences to help the party with preparations and campaigning for the local government elections, which took place on 1 November.
“What kind of organisation would find absolutely nothing wrong with subjecting its employees to economic hardships? Our members and workers working for the ANC have lost all they have worked for as a result of the non-payment of salaries.
“It’s these workers that just recently worked hard to ensure that the ANC redeems the little credibility it has left during the local government elections and yet the organisation treats them with disdain by not paying them what is rightfully theirs.”
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe