Home Press Releases Archived 2008 Sactwu mourns the death of Don Pasquallie
Sactwu mourns the death of Don Pasquallie PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 February 2008 16:19


Press Release : Immediate


The Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU) is also saddened by the sudden and unexpected death of DON PASQUALLIE (SADTU Deputy General Secretary), his brother and others who died with him in a car accident over the last weekend.

We will remember Don very fondly. In particular, we will remember the determined contributions that he has made to advance workers' demands for quality education. We will also remember his sterling contribution to promote social dialogue in the Western Cape Province.

In 1998, when he still served as SADTU'S Regional Secretary in the Western Cape, Don played a key role in mobilising tens of thousands of workers behind COSATU's demand for proper quality and equal education in the Western Cape. He was part of the COSATU negotiating team which engaged the then Western Cape Provincial Government on this matter, which had been raised by COSATU's Western Cape Province in one of the first ever Section 77 Notices to NEDLAC. These negotiations did not result in an agreement and COSATU gave notice of its intention to embark on protest action in the province. The then Provincial Government applied for an interdict against the strike, but its application was dismissed with costs (COSATU was represented in Court by Advocate Norman Arendse, who now is the President of Cricket South Africa). This Court victory was a compliment to Don: the Labour Court confirmed that COSATU's negotiating team had, during the Section 77 negotiations, conducted themselves properly and had complied fully with the required terms of the relevant provisions of the then newly promulgated Labour Relations Act.  The subsequent protected protest action which took place saw tens of thousands of workers and teachers in the Western Cape embarking on strike action in support of these demands, with between 10 000 and 15 000 workers marching on the then Provincial Government under the Premiership of Gerald Morkel. Significantly, this was the first ever COSATU Section 77 protest action launched in our new democracy, under the auspices of the newly promulgated Labour Relations Act.

We also remember Don for his sterling contribution to the advancement of social dialogue in our country. In 2003, he was a key member of the COSATU team which negotiated the Western Cape "Framework Agreement For Growth and Development and Social Dialogue". Don then led the sub-committee which focused on the Human Resources aspect of the framework agreement. These negotiations were concluded in November 2003. Its outcomes resulted in tri-partite agreement to amend the Provincial Development Council Law of 1996 and to replace it with the Provincial Development Council Amendment Act, adopted by the provincial legislature on 16 September 2004 and promulgated into law on 30 September 2004. The effect of this new amended law was to give workers and the poor a greater representation on the Provincial Development Council structures and a greater voice in the determination of economic- and social development issues in the Western Cape.

On workplace training, the Human Resources Section of the Framework Agreement contains a far-sighted clause which says that payment and recognition of skills acquired should be encouraged. It further committed the provincial social partners to promote Recognition of Prior Learning, to address past workplace training and general education disparities, to redress existing inequalities, to promote an integrated skills development programme, to modernise systems through encouragement of information and communication technology, to address gender discrimination in workplace and general education and to  increase higher and further education access and affordability to the poor and disadvantaged.

This contribution by Don has had a positive effect on the lives of clothing, textile and leather workers and their dependants.

We dip our banner in respect and condolences to his wife and 3 daughters, the rest of his family, his friends and our colleagues in our fellow COSATU union, SADTU, at their great loss.


Issued by
Andre Kriel
Deputy General Secretary