This is a press release from the South African National Blood service:
This year, Workers’ Day looks different for South Africans. It’s impossible to ignore the irony of celebrating Workers’ Day under lockdown where the status quo of working life in South Africa includes a daily commute to the office. For the past few weeks, work life has looked different for many, with the number of employees working from home expected to increase post-the COVID-19 lockdown.
Born from the struggle for workers’ rights and social equality, this international observation is especially significant to South Africa – a country with a bitter history of labour and social inequality. Sadly, the pandemic has undone a lot of advancement that our government and trade unions have made in reducing the numbers of unemployment and promoting workers’ rights in our country. With widespread job losses anticipated, social inequity will be aggravated and unemployment will become a reality for many. This Workers’ Day, it is important to recognise that workers will be particularly affected by the pandemic through job losses, homelessness and in various other ways.
The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) joins the international community in honouring the contributions of its employees across the country. “The SANBS tips its hat to all the men and women who make sure that we continue to fulfil our purpose of being trusted to save lives. Our employees have been especially significant to the greater South African community as they continued to serve as essential services workers during this pandemic,” said Jonathan Louw, Chief Executive Officer of the SANBS.
We remain aligned to the visions of the trade unions operating in our business space which strive for “human dignity, effective service delivery and protection of members’ rights in the workplace” and to serve the individual and collective interests of workers.
We pay homage to the workers who fought for a democratic South Africa and to those who continue to stand on the front lines to ensure that all South Africans enjoy employment rights in their own country.