The Congress of South African Students’ (COSAS) wishes to use the occasion of May Day to salute the millions of workers in South Africa and across the world who are in the frontlines of the fight against the Coronavirus. In particular, we wish to send a word of solidarity and revolutionary regards to the doctors, nurses, cleaners, securities, farmworkers, retail workers, law enforcement officer, and all other workers ensuring that essential services are provided to our people during these trying times.
This May Day is different because millions of workers in our country find themselves not sure about their employment future. The COVID19 pandemic has led to a national lockdown which has resulted in the closure of economic activity in our country. Many workers are not sure if their jobs are secured, whether their employers will pay them their salaries whilst they are at home. Millions of working-class people are not in formal employment, they are in temporary employment and others are informal traders who have lost their incomes during this time. As COSAS we have noted that some employers have decided not to pay workers their full salaries unjustifiably using the COVID19 crisis as an excuse. We warn those employers because this is not a time for petty capitalist greed, but a chance for all of us to pull together and fight this virus as an act of human solidarity. We also warn landlords not to evict workers who have lost incomes during this period.
As COSAS we welcome the interventions that the government has made to protect workers and the unemployed from the worst impact of this crisis. We believe that more needs to be done to ensure that families and communities are supported especially the poor. We call on capital in South Africa to contribute more to support the government’s efforts. We welcome the arrival of doctors, the revolutionary workers, of Cuba to support our fight against COVID19. Hasta la Victoria Siempre!
As leaners of South Africa, our relationship with workers is one characterized by revolutionary struggles and solidarity. The leaners stand with the workers of this country, who are not only our parents but our allies in the struggle. The Student Worker Alliance which dates back to the fight against oppression must continue even stronger during times of crisis like this. We call on government to ensure that workers in the essential services and the industries that are opened should be provided with protective equipment without compromise! A revolutionary Workers Day to all workers of South Africa and the world! Qina Msebenzi Qina!
For more information
COSAS National Executive Committee