South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union

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Saccawu logo.png
Full name South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union
Founded 1975
Members 107,000
Country South Africa
Affiliation COSATU
Key people Louise Thipe, president
Bones Skulu, general secretary
Office location Johannesburg, South Africa

The South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU) is a trade union in South Africa. It is an affiliate of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

Brief history[edit]

SACCAWU was founded in 1975 as CCAWUSA (The Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union). In 1989 in response to the call by COSATU for One Industry One Union they merged with other unions in the sector to form SACCAWU. The first General Secretary was the Union stalwart, Emma Mahinini and Makhulu Ledwaba was elected as the first President of CCAWUSA. Both played an instrumental role in the establishment of COSATU with Ledwaba elected as 2nd Vice-President of COSATU.

For all these decades SACCAWU has been at the forefront of organising and fighting for workers in Retail & Wholesale, Hospitality & Catering and the Financial Services sectors. We remain the largest, most representative, influential and significant union representing workers in these sectors.

Since its formation SACCAWU remain the largest most representative and militant Union in the sector. SACCAWU has won significant protection and improvements for workers, substantial improvements in wages and benefits and greater job security for workers and safe transport. SACCAWU has been a pioneer amongst Unions in the country to squarely place issues and challenges faced by women in the work place on the agenda. It was under the banner of SACCAWU that the first substantial maternity and paternity rights for workers were won and set the benchmark for these rights for all other Unions. Today lead the campaign for childcare for children of workers.

SACCAWU is an affiliate of COSATU as well as an affiliate of two International Unions, UNI-Global Unions where the General Secretary Bones Skulu serve on the executive as well as serving as President of UN- Africa, and Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco International Network (UIF).

The current national office bearers is President, Louise Thipe, 1st Deputy President, Angie Phetlhe; 2nd Deputy President, Mike Tau, Treasurer, Alois Gumede, General Secretary Bones Skulu and Deputy General Secretary Mduduzi Mbongwe. SACCAWU has eight regions; Eastern Cape, Free State/Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, Northern, North West-Vaal, Western Cape, and Witwatersrand regions.

SACCAWU believe in workers control and have strong shopfloor, local and regional structures where workers and shopstewards actively participate in Union structures organisational activities and campaigns.