RESPONSIBLE PROTEST: The Motor Industry Staff Association says it supports peaceful, responsible protest action. iStock
Johannesbsurg - The Motor Industry Staff Association (MISA), a trade union that represents more than 40 000 workers in the motor retail sector, will support peaceful civil protests on Friday (April 7), but says its workers should do so responsibly and with the consent of their employers
Martle Keyter, MISA's CEO of Operations, says South African's need to unite to demand the resignation of President Jacob Zuma after the country received a credit rating downgrade on Monday as a direct result of the Presidents controversial Cabinet reshuffle on March 31.
'We are not supporting a national shutdown'
Keyter said: "The President's unilateral actions are directly impacting on the livelivhood of millions of South Africans, and as a nation we need to stand up to save country but we need to do this in a responsible manner. In the interest of the South African economy, our members and their employers, we are not supporting a national shutdown, and are urging members to participate in the protest action in a peaceful and responsible manner with the blessing of their employers."
MISA is a only trade union that focuses solely on the motor retails industry has as one of its strategic objectives to stimulate job growth, employment and development opportunities in the motor retail sector.
"MISA has a strong focus on developing young workers, female workers, people living with disabilities and those from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, and we have embarked on various programmes together with industry partners and employers to achieve this objective. The credit rating downgrade by Standard and Poor (S&P) affects workers and the marginalised the most, and we cannot standby and do nothing," says Keyter.
MISA says their members should work with local communities, attend prayers meetings, and engage in pre-work or lunch-time picketing but they must make the necessary arrangements with their employers to protect themselves against any adverse action that could be taken against them.
"Friday is not a protected strike, and workers may face consequences if they stay away from work without making prior arrangements," warns Keyter.
MISA is affiliated to the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA), which is also supporting Friday's civil protest action. FEDUSA has also vowed to intensify the campaign and embark on an extensive civil disobedience campaign should President Zuma refuse to resign by April 8 2017.