SARS: Unions have been patient – COSATU

Federation says it fully supports the strike led by NEHAWU

COSATU is fully behind the SARS strike led by NEHAWU

28 March 2019

The Congress of South African Trade Unions fully supports the workers strike at the South African Revenue Services (SARS) that is led by our affiliated union NEHAWU.

The unions have been very patient with the employers since the negotiations began in November 2018  and we support the worker's decision to ultimately withdraw their labour power. It is unfortunate that the intransigence and the unreasonable attitude of the employers have led to this strike action because this will impact negatively on the economy.

We support NEHAWU and other unions in their fight to ensure that workers get decent salary increases and that their working conditions are improved.

Considering the fact that workers are still reeling from the recent electricity tariff hike and are looking at another fuel price hike in the near future, we encourage all workers and their unions to fearlessly fight for decent salary increases during this round of wage negotiations. We also encourage many of our unions to sign single year agreements and if employers want a multiyear agreement, they should be prepared to purchase those at the negotiating table.

The South African Revenue Services should comply with the following demands from the:

- a single term

- A pay rise of 11,4%

- SARS must compensate employees for recognised improved qualifications in the form of a 1% increase as well as a 10% bonus.

- Long Service Awards

- Review and finalisation of the Performance Bonus policy

- An introduction of a three-year cycle in relation to the Family Responsibility Leave (FRL)

- Pre-natal and Vaccination leave 8 working days / 16 half-days for vaccinations and pre-natal check-ups.

- SARS also must reverse the withdrawal of the benefits that the employer withdrew during the negotiations in December 2018 and those benefits must all be reinstated.

We are calling on the SARS leadership to accede to the reasonable demands of the workers. The process of turning around SARS should start with boosting the morale of the workers who are at the coalface of the operations. This strike will affect the entire economy and after the load-shedding fiasco; this is the last thing that this economy needs.  

Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 28 March 2019