Outsourced workers in Pretoria are planning to shut down all Pretoria universities and colleges as well as Tshwane municipality on Monday 18th January to protest against outsourcing.
“We are planning to intensify our actions – aiming for total shutdown of all universities, colleges and the municipality,” OutSourcingMustFall spokesperson Mametlwe Sebei said.
Sebei further said that they would target the University of Pretoria (UP), the Tshwane University of Technology, the Tshwane North College, the Tshwane South College and Medunsa this week.
“We want to achieve a total shutdown of all services which are using outsourced workers. We have done this at UP and Unisa and we plan on achieving this at all the others this week,” he said.
Protesting contract workers under the Outsourcingmustfall banner have given universities until Friday to address their grievances or the protests will persist until their demands are met
The movement wants universities to end outsourcing of services such as cleaning and security through outsourced workers.
Last week, outsourced workers disorganized the registration process at UNISA and UP. The workers clashed with police at Unisa on Monday and a mini grenade was reportedly fired to disperse the crowd.
Outsourcingmustfall member Mametlwe Sebei says thousands of contract workers are still labouring under what he calls the exploitation of labour brokering.
“It is sheer hypocrisy for government to pass legislation effectively outlawing the exploitative practices of labour brokering, but then continue these same practices under the guise of contracting. Universities and colleges are following government’s example,” Sebei said.
“Workers are determined to struggle until their demands are met. All they are demanding is fair pay and job security for the long hours and difficult work they do.”
Sebei pleaded with all academics to support their cause. He said they will be meeting with students at the universities and colleges in question to discuss uniting their cause with FeesMustFall movement.
“We are demanding that outsourcing must be immediately brought to an end. We are also demanding a minimum wage of R10 000 for every worker a month. The workers are actually saying we want to break with the system of the cheap labour wages; All forms of brutal exploitation that we have seen and we want a share in better life which until now has been enjoyed by a tiny elite at the top of our society.”
The workers are currently taking home a salary of about R2 000 a month.