Cape Town: Section 77 Nedlac notice filed – Sactwu

Move comes after city leases out Good Hope Centre despite objections, says union


22 October 2015

This morning, the COSATU-affiliated Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) filed a Section 77 notice with Nedlac against the City of Cape Town, its Executive Mayor and its Mayoral Committee.

This follows the City of Cape Town’s unilateral decision to lease out the Good Hope Centre for commercial purposes to an international film company, despite objections from SACTWU and other community organisations in Cape Town.

SACTWU objected as the City’s decision has meant that the union is unable to hold its Spring Queen fashion event, a central pillar of the union’s efforts to promote South African-made garments and textile products, at the Good Hope Centre. This undermines our ‘Save Jobs’ campaign and our efforts to rebuild the clothing and textile industry.

Section 77 of the Labour Relations Act provides for a trade union to call for protest action to promote or defend workers’ socio-economic interests. Such protest action would be protected, meaning workers cannot be disciplined for exercising their right to participate there-in.

Nedlac will now consider the merits of the union’s application and attempt to resolve the dispute between the union and the City of Cape Town. Should the dispute not be resolved, the union has indicated that it will embark on protest action involving its members that includes mass rallies and placard demonstrations at targeted City of Cape Town offices; solidarity campaigns aimed at the media, stakeholders, the public, employees and suppliers of the City of Cape Town; demonstrations at events sponsored or organised by the City of Cape Town, amongst others.

This action follows numerous unsuccessful attempts by the union to engage the City on its unilateral decision and, following this, an overwhelming mandate given to the union by its members at a special extended Regional Executive Committee.

SACTWU does not accept the disrespectful manner in which one of our premier ‘Save Jobs’ popularising events has been summarily dismissed by the City. Our Spring Queen fashion event is about promoting local jobs by promoting locally manufactured fashion. It appears ‘local is not lekka’ for the City.

Statement issued by Andre Kriel, General Secretary, SACTWU, 22 October 2015