Taking COSATU Today Forward, 11 October 2021

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Norman Mampane

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Oct 11, 2021, 11:04:49 AMOct 11
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COSATU TODAY

#2021YearofCosatuLocals

#Back2Basics

Taking COSATU Today Forward

‘Whoever sides with the revolutionary people in deed as well as in word is a revolutionary in the full sense’-Maoo

 

Our side of the story

Monday, 11 October 2021


‘Deepen the Back to Basics Campaign, Consolidate the Struggle for the NDR and Advance the Struggle for Socialism’

All workers urged to take Covid19 vaccine jabs!

Organize at every workplace and demand Personal Protective Equipment Now!

Defend Jobs Now!

Join COSATU NOW!

 

Contents                      

  • Workers Parliament: Back to Basics!
  • DITSELA Labour Law Symposium
  • South Africa
  • SAEPU condemns robbery of an ambulance crew in Umlazi (Ethekwini)
  • International-Workers’ Solidarity!

Ø  IndustriALL calls for Omnibus law to be cancelled

  • Philippines: Global solidarity and support to address violations of human and trade union rights

Workers’ Parliament-Back2Basics 

DITSELA Labour Law Symposium

THEME: Workers and the Law: Labour Market Regulations and Inequality

Are present day labour market institutions and representative organisations fit for purpose and can they adequately address the challenges faced by workers within the current regulatory framework?

Background

On the 12-13 October 2021 Ditsela will host its first Online National Labour Law Symposium in partnership with the CENTROW (Centre for Transformative regulation of Work) and the CCMA. This symposium will focus on the recent Labour Law Amendments, how it affects workers in the workplace, their social welfare and in their own communities. It will also provide a learning space for sharing various experiences.

This symposium is open to all shop stewards, worker leaders in MBOs of workers in the informal economy, and organisers

You’ll find the link here to register. https://us06web.zoom.us/.../tZYqf-6oqDsoGNSTU1HGbqEhhsq...

South Africa 

SAEPU condemns robbery of an ambulance crew in Umlazi (Ethekwini)

11 October 2021

The South African Emergency Personnel’s Union (SAEPU) condemns the unfortunate incident of EMS crew robbery in Umlazi (EThekwini), Kwa Zulu Natal.

 

On Friday the 08th October 2021 a crew from Umlazi base was dispatched to attend a call in the area.

 

On their way they got stopped by a random car. The criminals got out of the car, pointed a gun at the personnel and took all of their belongings including cell-phones and wallets then burned the ambulance.

 

A case of robbery was opened at Umlazi Victor  police station and we are calling on police to move speedily with the investigations, make arrests and bring perpetrators to book. We also call on community members to understand the sensitive services that EMS personnel provides and stop attacking and robbing them while on duty.

 

The crew had to stop going to the call for the sake of their safety and requested family members of the patient to make their own arrangements to transport the patient to the hospital.  

 

SAEPU condemns the incidents that always happens to the EMS workers whereby the Department of Health is not doing anything to protect them. EMS workers are not prioritised and recognised by the Department of Health as the first respondents on the scenes. If the Department of Health was treating EMS workers with respect and prioritised their safety, the communities which are provided services were not going to attack EMS workers easily, and the continuous attacks makes workers to fear for their lives hence they are attacked whilst at the scenes and even in their stations.

 

We further send strength to our comrades and believes that the counselling  will be arranged by their managers to assist them in overcoming the trauma.

Issued by SAEPU

International-Solidarity 

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IndustriALL calls for Omnibus law to be cancelled

10 October, 2021

IndustriALL’s 3rd Congress in September adopted a resolution in solidarity with its Indonesian affiliates against the controversial Omnibus law on job creation, which has created turbulence since its introduction in January 2020. 

Since the Omnibus law was introduced, the sectoral minimum wage is eliminated, an excessive use of outsourcing is allowed, and the nominal severance pay is reduced.

In a letter to the Indonesian President Joko Widodo, IndustriALL calls for the Omnibus law to be cancelled.

IndustriALL general secretary Atle Høie says:

“We urge president Joko Widodo to take our message seriously, this demand was a key resolution passed in the IndustriALL third congress on 15 September. More than 3,000 delegates representing 50 million manufacturing workers worldwide unanimously called for the cancellation of Omnibus Law.”

IndustriALL calls on its affiliates to support the campaign by sending the model letters to the Indonesian president and Indonesian embassies.

Indonesian trade unions have been protesting against the Omnibus law for nearly two years.

On 2 September, the Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) mobilized thousands of members at 1,000 companies in 24 provinces to against the law. Five IndustriALL affiliates participated in the rallies.

Said Iqbal, National council chairperson of Federation of Indonesian Metal Workers' Union (FSPMI), says:

“We are asking for international support. The Omnibus law is detrimental to workers' constitutional rights and the Indonesian labour movement will continue the fight until the law is repealed.”

Currently, the Indonesian constitutional court has consolidated all six proceedings related to Omnibus Law into one, including three cases filed by KSPI and KSPSI, All Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSBSI) and the National Welfare Movement (GEKANAS).

During court proceedings on 23 September, it was revealed that academics and government agency leaders were not given the Omnibus bill and relevant academic papers during the focus group discussions.

The Omnibus Law has also proved to be a catalyst of change in Indonesia’s political landscape. On 4-5 October, more than 50 federations of trade unions and confederations rejuvenated the Indonesian Labour Party. Said Iqbal was elected as the new party chairperson, the vice president of KSPSI and CEMWU Ferri Nurzali was elected secretary general.

___________

Philippines: Global solidarity and support to address violations of human and trade union rights

trade union rights are human rights democracy,11 October 2021

Human and trade union rights violations in the Philippines – and the need to highlight evidence of them internationally – were the focus of a high-level roundtable on 8 October.

The roundtable discussion, “An international response to human rights in the Philippines”, was co-sponsored by Education International and other global civil society organisations.

The event was organised by the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP), a global network of organisations concerned about the human rights situation in the Philippines and committed to campaign for a just and lasting peace in the country.

ICHRP chair Peter Murphy opened the roundtable discussion by recalling the oral report on the Philippines presented to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) the previous day. The update was presented by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, one year after the UNHRC had passed a resolution to provide “technical cooperation and capacity-building” to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines for the protection of human rights.

In her presentation, Bachelet noted the progress of the UN joint programme for technical assistance and capacity-building on human rights, adopted on 22 July this year. She also stressed the ongoing lack of accountability for the killings and rights violations in the counterinsurgency programme; continuing harassment, threats, and killings of human rights defenders, church workers, environmental and land rights defenders, journalists, trade unionists, farmers and lawyers. She criticised the government's ongoing red-tagging of activists, media and other actors, and called for an end to the use of hate language during the unfolding national election campaign.

ICHRP calls for an official UN investigation

ICHRP fully endorses High Commissioner Bachelet’s comment that the decision of the International Criminal Court Pre-Trial Chamber to open an investigation in the Philippines is a significant indication of the inadequate, if not non-existent, domestic remedies in the country, Murphy stressed.

He said that the formal response of the Philippine delegate demonstrated that the Duterte government continues to reject any criticism of its human rights record. Instead, they are doubling down on the use of red-tagging to terrorise any critics by alleging, without evidence, that they recruit fighters for the New People’s Army.

For Murphy, High Commissioner Bachelet’s report clearly demonstrated the lack of domestic mechanisms in the Philippines to end such human rights violations.

Given the worsening human rights situation, ICHRP endorses the recommendations of INVESTIGATE PH, including calling for a formal UN investigation of human rights violations in the Philippines.

ICHRP also calls on the UNHRC to maintain its efforts to hold the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and its officials accountable for the thousands of violations of human rights carried out as official state policy.

“We want to think about how to better respond to human rights violations and show solidarity with Filipino civil society,” Murphy concluded.

Unanimous commitment to act by global union movement

International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Director for Human and Trade Union Rights Jeroen Beirnaert stressed the work undertaken by Global Unions to protect human and trade union rights and denounce violations in the Philippines.

“It is not that often that we have such a strong coordination and unanimity about freedom of association as in the case of the Philippines,” he noted.

“Our concerns are not necessarily shared by governments and employers, who can thrive in a political environment hostile to union rights.”

Beirnaert explained that while trade unions at international level have the experience of technical assistance, via the International Labour Organization (ILO) for example, there is a clear lack of political will in the Philippines to put a halt to human and trade union rights violations.

Therefore, “we need to push for political pressure in the country to drive real change. We need thorough documentation and evidence-building”, and “international advocacy fora must work together”.

Insisting that “we must break the convenient excuse of COVID-19 used by government in order not to engage in investigation activities”, Beirnaert emphasised that the involvement of civil society and unions at national and international levels is important to monitor and address the violations of human rights in the Philippines.

Overwhelming evidence of shocking attacks against the Filipino people

Australian politician Janet Elizabeth Rice, one of Investigate PH’s Commissioners, said the “evidence obtained was overwhelming,” and “the attacks of the Duterte government against the people – in particular Indigenous, students, human rights defenders, and peace advocates – are shocking”.

Qualifying Bachelet’s report as “significant”, she insisted that “if we can mobilise political parties and public opinion in our countries, we can be effective in putting pressure on the Filipino government and have change happen”.

Calling for more than technical cooperation, she added that human rights activists in the Philippines need a UN independent investigation of human rights violations.

“These appalling attacks must be stopped. Human rights should be respected, and it is up to all of us to see human rights respected in the Philippines and around the world,” said Rice, who is a member of the Australian Greens.

Investigations require adequate human and financial resources

The Head of the Freedom of Association Branch at the ILO International Labour Standards Department, Karen Curtis, reiterated that the Philippines is a longstanding member of the ILO. “We need to have enough staff and resources to investigate the situation,” she emphasised.

A freedom of association case has been opened at the ILO against the Government of the Philippines– Case No 3185 – for the extrajudicial killings of trade union leaders, which cites the failure of the Government to adequately investigate these cases and bring the perpetrators to justice. That failure to investigate and prosecute reinforces the climate of impunity, violence, and insecurity with its damaging effects on the exercise of trade union rights.

Belgian Green federal MP Séverine de Laveleye remarked that it was difficult to put the Philippines on the political agenda in a foreign country like her own. She stressed that ending trade preferences with the Philippines could be helpful and something to build on.

Participants also welcomed Rappler editor, Maria Ressa, being awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. Ressa has long been fighting for freedom of expression in the Philippines and exposing the human rights violations of the Duterte government. She is subject to threats and has been repeatedly prosecuted for her work. The award is an important recognition not only of her efforts, but of the need for facts and honest and ethical reporting. The public in the Philippines is largely dependent on information being supplied by social media.

__________________________

Norman Mampane (Shopsteward Editor)

Congress of South African Trade Unions

110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street, Braamfontein, 2017

P.O.Box 1019, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa

Tel: +27 11 339-4911 Direct line: 010 219-1348

 

 

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