South Africa

Stepping into the Breach: Unions Provide Key Aid in COVID-19

More than four out of five people (81 percent) in the global workforce of 3.3 billion are currently affected by full or partial workplace closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some 1.25 billion workers are employed in the sectors identified as being at high risk of “drastic and devastating” increases in layoffs and reductions in… [READ MORE]

From Haiti to Kenya, Unions Take Action on COVID-19

Just as the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the massive global economic and social inequality around the world, with workers in the informal economy and supply chains, and  migrant workers—many of whom are women—especially marginalized, so, too, does it offer the potential to build more equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies that are… [READ MORE]

Migrant Mine Worker in South Africa: ‘We Have Nothing’

As a migrant mine worker from Swaziland, Mduduzi Thabethe says he has fewer workplace rights than his South African co-workers. Although all mine workers pay the same amount into the health fund, migrant workers get inferior care and pensions are rare. “If you are a citizen of South Africa, you see you are building your… [READ MORE]

South Africa’s Workers Fight Job Losses

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) launched a general strike across eight provinces Wednesday as a warning to South Africa’s governing party, the African National Congress (ANC), to address rampant job losses and unemployment across the public and private sectors. “We are tired of economic growth that does not create employment opportunities, that… [READ MORE]

Union Leaders Mobilize on Gender-Based Violence at Work

Gertrude Mtsweni and Rose Omamo, trade union leaders from Africa, recently joined hundreds of workers who participated with government and employer representatives in high-level deliberations on a draft global standard addressing gender-based violence at work. Energized after long days of intense discussions during the International Labor Organization (ILO) conference in Geneva, the women are now… [READ MORE]

Court Victory, and Challenge, for South African Workers

The Constitutional Court of South Africa determined in a historic ruling late last week that workers placed by labor recruiters must be made permanent after three months at the company where they worked on temporary status, entitling them to the same pay, benefits and job security afforded to full-time employees, but labor organizations expect a… [READ MORE]

Migrant Domestic Worker in South Africa: Better Conditions with Union

Prexedes, a domestic worker from Zimbabwe in South Africa, says migrant workers in South Africa often are paid lower wages and suffer harsher working conditions than their South African counterparts. Supporting her three children on her own, Prexedes struggled to pay for transportation to work and food for her family, and often worked overtime for… [READ MORE]