PRESS RELEASE: 18 SEPTEMBER 2009
ARRESTED CLOTHING STRIKERS RELEASED
Yesterday we reported that approximately 140 clothing workers who are on a legal wage strike had been arrested yesterday morning, in Johannesburg. The workers were peacefully picketing in front of clothing factories in support of their wage demands. Initial information showed the following:
The police arrived and our members offered to dispurse. Before they could do so, police started firing teargas and rubber bullets. Louisah Modikwe, the SACTWU Organiser present at the time, was smacked and manhandled by a police officer. One worker has been taken to hospital. At this stage it is not clear which hospital. Most of the arrested workers are female and had been locked up at Jeppe Police Station in Market Street in Johannesburg since yesterday morning.
We are delighted to report that our members have just been released without being charged. The union wishes to extend its appreciation to the police that in the end, the matter was resolved constructively and amicably. We hope that from now onwards this positive engagement will prevail for the duration of the strike.
The right to strike is a fundamental human right and constitutionally protected in our country. It is important that this right be respected when workers exercise this right in legitimate, legally sanctioned and peaceful industrial action.
If further information is required, kindly contact Fachmy Abrahams, Co-ordinator in the Office of the General Secretary, on cell number 0733067605 or on 011 4022744, who was at the police station until a short while ago to try and resolve the matter.