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COSATU Today  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU’s tribute to Madiba, and the Dunnes Stores strike against apartheid

10 December 2013

The Congress of South African Trade Unions invites the media to a press conference to hear a briefing from the National Office Bearers on the federation’s tribute to the icon of the struggle for democracy and freedom, Comrade Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, and the legacy he has left us.

They will be joined by three leaders of the historic strike at Dunnes Stores in Dublin, Ireland, in the 1980s. They were members of the Irish Distributive & Administrative Union who implemented a union instruction in July 1984 not to handle South African goods, in protest at the apartheid regime. Mary Manning, a check-out operator, was the first to refuse to handle goods and was suspended from her position.

A picket was put on the store and 10 of Mary Manning’s colleagues went on strike with her. The strike lasted two years and nine months and led to Ireland being the first country in the world to ban goods from South Africa in 1987.

All 11 of the former Dunnes Stores workers will attend Madiba’s funeral on Sunday. But three of them – Mary Manning, Karen Gearon and Liz Deasy –also attended the memorial service in Johannesburg today and will be at the COSATU media briefing, the details of which are:

DATE: Wednesday 11 December 2013
TIME: 11h00
VENUE: COSATU House, 110 Jorissen Street, Braamfontein

Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Streets

P.O.Box 1019
South Africa

Tel: +27 11 339-4911 Direct 010 219-1339
Fax: +27 11 339-6940
Mobile: +27 82 821 7456
E-Mail: patrick@cosatu.org.za