The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union’s (AMCU) President, Joseph Mathunjwa, has expressed his intentions to approach President Cyril Ramaphosa with the demand to mark National Workers’ Day on 16 August.

The date carries immense significance as it marks the anniversary of the 2012 Marikana Massacre, which saw 34 mineworkers slain and many more injured.

Speaking at the Union’s Impala Central Mass Meeting in Rustenburg on 23 April, Mathunjwa told hundreds of members in attendance about AMCU’s plans to boycott May Day.

“We convened a special National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting where we reflected on previous discussions to commemorate our Workers’ Day on 16 August. I even suggested that we boycott May Day and let President Cyril Ramphosa know that we don’t recognise it. We want him to recognise 16 August as the South African Workers’ Day.”

President Mathunjwa said the NEC had collectively agreed to declare 1 May as black May Day, when AMCU members will be refraining from celebrations across the country.

Historically, international May Day commemorations date back to 1886 after the Federation of Trade and Labor Unions in the United states of America and Canada resolved that workers should only be subjected to eight working hours in a day. This was then legalised on 1 May of that year.

While some workers will be celebrating international May Day next week, the firebrand Union’s absence from all commemorations will serve as a reminder that Ama AMCU Amahle are no longer commemorating a day that does not have much significance for us. Our Worker’s Day is 16 August!


26 April 2018 by Lesego Maja