EFF statement on Workers' Day
2 May 2018
The EFF marks the 132nd Anniversary of May Day which was ultimately adopted by the socialist and communist labour movements as the International Workers Day. We mark this day as an important reminder that a true solution to capitalist development is socialism. This means industrial and technological developments will only lead to true human freedom when production and distribution is driven for people as opposed to profit for profit's sake.
We, therefore, join the international community in calling on workers of the world to unite against multinational companies and imperialism in a united effort to build an alternative socialist future. Capitalism which over the last 200 years has only led to inequality, poverty and exploitation for the working class, can only be defeated by a united international working class.
South Africa faces one of the most brutal capitalist developments in human history whereby whose articulation with colonial anti-black racism continues to sustain wage inequalities on racial lines. Above all, apartheid and the post-apartheid states have ensured the continued availability of blacks as cheap and easily disposable labour.
We reiterate our rejection of the Youth Employment Service as launched by the Ramaphosa presidency. We reject it as an extension of EPWP into the private sector where capital will be allowed to pay graduates low wages without hiring them on permanent secure contracts. Furthermore, whilst we welcome the minimum wage in principle, we reject the set figure of R20 an hour. All these programs trap workers in low wages whilst companies and bosses live lavishly out of profits.
We call on a total ban of labour brokers and call on insourcing of workers in government, universities, state-owned companies and in the private sector. Security guards, cleaning and hospitality workers deserve decent labour contracts with benefits and a living wage.
The EFF condemns the department of health for the exploitative conditions under which medical staff work. We call on the Minister of Health to immediately ensure the payment of doctors in hospitals like Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital who have not been paid their overtime. The refusal to treat health workers with decency contributes to the dire state of public healthcare. Until the conditions of workers and facilities are improved, there is no prospect of any improvements; our hospitals will remain destinations of death and suffering, as opposed to life and care.
It is a matter of fact that in this country and across the world women continue to be paid far much less than what men are for doing the same job. We call for a national review of salaries to ensure that women get paid as much as men are for doing the same job. Equally, this must also be the cards in relation to race: black people must be paid the same amount of the money as whites for the same job.
Finally, the EFF calls on land expropriation without compensation for equal redistribution to improve the conditions of farm workers. All workers need the land and farmworkers also need to share in the ownership of agricultural land and produce. There is no complete freedom without the land.
Issued by Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, 2 May 2018