Victory for #OutsourcingMustFall at TUT

Today, Thursday 11 February, TUT management signed an agreement with #OutsourcingMustFall bringing an end to the TUT workers’ heroic month long strike. Workers will assemble on Monday morning and triumphantly march back to work. This victory follows on the heels of the #OutsourcingMustFall strikes that defeated outsourcing and won wage rises of up to 300% at the University of Pretoria, the University of South Africa and Medunsa.

TUT Management has agreed to phase out outsourcing over the next two years increasing the minimum wage for newly insourced workers by 100% to R5,000. Whilst this falls short of the R10,000 minimum wage demanded by workers, TUT management has agreed to continue discussions about a timetable for raising the minimum wage to R10,000 by 2019.

Other key concessions include agreement that there will be no victimisation of workers who took part in this unprotected strike, that the interdict banning protests on and around campus will not be enforced and that criminal charges against workers taking part in protests will be dropped.

But this agreement was hard fought by workers. For much of the past month TUT management refused to even recognise the workers’ committees and the #OutsourcingMustFall campaign. They attempted to impose an agreement with the ANC-aligned NEHAWU union which workers had never even belonged to. Not only had NEHAWU refused to organise outsourced workers for years, they organised gangs of thugs to try and break the #OutsourcingMustFall strike. But somehow, in a complete trampling of the basic democratic right to organise, TUT management believed this degenerate puppet of the tenderpreneurs was entitled to speak for workers!

Until today, even the R5,000 minimum wage offer that had been on the table was placed there only half-heartedly with management linking it to “sustainability” and “affordability”. These clauses have now been scrapped and the workers’ elected representatives officially recognised even sitting on the new Task Team overseeing the end of outsourcing at TUT. Workers stood united and determined in the face of management games and won.

Strikes of outsourced workers organised by #OutsourcingMustFall continue at Tshwane North College, Tshwane South College and Tshwane Municipality. Protest action targeting these institutions will continue with workers assembling at Church Square from 7am tomorrow, Friday 12 February. Before they return to work, the TUT workers have vowed to support their comrades at other institutions in another day of protest.

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