Cosatu outrage over SA executives’ 23% pay hikes

The huge pay hikes of top executives is unacceptable while workers fight for “reasonable” wages, the Congress of South African Trade Unions said on Monday.

“Cosatu is outraged that at a time when workers are struggling for modest improvements in their low wages, that chief executives are taking home increases a good 10% higher than what the workers are demanding,” said spokesperson Patrick Craven.

Craven noted with anger a report indicating that the average pay of executive directors of the top 40 Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed companies increased last year by 23.3% to R4.8-million.

He said South Africa had already been rated the most unequal society in the world.

Modest demands
“These latest increases at the highest levels have widened the gap still further. They make the unions’ demands seem even more modest and reasonable.

“This report … illustrates why Cosatu has relaunched its living wage campaign, and why we are fully behind the workers currently on strike.”

About 70 000 fuel workers from the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood, and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu) and the General Industries Workers Union of SA (Giwusa) downed tools on Monday.

Around 170 000 engineering and metal workers were also on strike from Monday last week.

Giwusa had members in the pharmaceutical, glass, chemical and fast-moving consumer goods, fibre and particle board industries.

They were planning to march to the Chamber of Mines in Johannesburg on Tuesday. Their demands included a minimum salary of R6 000 per month and a 40-hour work week.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), the Metal and Electrical Workers Union (Mewusa), and the SA Equity Workers Association (Saewa) were demanding wage increases ranging from 10% to 13%, and a ban on labour brokers.

Last week, violence during the strike resulted in one death and six injuries. — Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Cosatu proposes interventions to tackle Covid-19 procurement graft

In light of irregular spending on Covid-19 procurement, Cosatu recommends that politically connected people be barred from doing business with the state

Workers battle for UIF payouts

Snarl-ups at the Unemployment Insurance Fund and bosses not assisting employees worsens people’s suffering

Mboweni to further tighten the belt in his budget

The finance minister will cut departments’ allocations according to their cloth as one measure, and savings will have been made from underspend during the lockdown

Fawu fires deputy general secretary. Again.

Moloko Phakedi plans to fight the decision. Again. The Food and Allied Workers Union says it will continue its inquiry into the R19-million written off in the union’s investment wing

Invisible threat to workers’ rights

Nearly half of all workplaces inspected by the department of labour found to be unsafe

Employers are now compelled to claim Covid-19 relief from the UIF

In the first weeks of the lockdown, workers reported that they had been left with nothing to survive on as their employers failed to apply to the UIF

Sekhukhune’s five-year battle for water back in court

The residents of five villages are calling for the district municipal manager to be arrested

Fees free fall, independent schools close

Parents have lost their jobs or had salaries cut; without state help the schools just can’t survive

Vaccine trial results due in December

If successful, it will then have to be manufactured and distributed

White men still rule and earn more

Women and black people occupy only a few seats at the JSE table, the latest PwC report has found

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday