Thursday, December 17, 2009

Union welcomes soldiers’ salary increase

By Ofentse Mokae
17 December 2009



The Congress of South African Trade Unions has welcomed the announcement that soldiers in the South African National Defence Force will receive salary increases.

The salary increment which ranges from 2% to 65%, took effective from 1 December 2009.

President Jacob Zuma endorsed a recommendation from the interim Defence Service Commission that a Defence Force that will recapture and rekindle the spirit of patriotism, selflessness and love for the people of our country is needed.

“We share his hope that the increase will bring back pride and attract many young men and women to the calling of this nature,” the union federation said in statement.

Cosatu says however it does not agree that the establishment of a Defence Service Commission and its recommendation of a salary increase, in any way justify the banning of trade unions within the SANDF.

“The low levels of salaries revealed by the Commission confirm what the unions had been saying for many years that the soldiers had legitimate grievances about their levels of pay,” added the statement.

The Commission, which is appointed from above and not accountable to the rank and file, is no substitute for a trade union formed by and answerable to the membership.

While constitution guarantees the right of all workers, with no exclusions, to form and join trade unions, the union says will oppose strongly any move to ban unions in the armed forces.

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