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
Wednesday, 20 October 2021
‘Deepen the Back to Basics Campaign, Consolidate the Struggle for the NDR and Advance the Struggle for Socialism’
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The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) has noted with great concern the number of municipalities and water boards that have either shown their intention to or have applied to be exempted from paying workers salary increases as per the concluded salary and wage negotiations in both the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) and the Amanzi Bargaining Council (ABC).
Salary and wage negotiations were concluded earlier this year in both Bargaining Councils following lengthy negotiations that were characterised with an attack on collective bargaining wherein municipalities and water boards were advised by the National Treasury to consider a 0% salary increase for workers.
Since the beginning of this month, which is the month when municipalities and water boards are supposed to implement the agreements, the union has received signs that there are some employers who seek to renege from these agreements which by law they are bound to.
Several municipalities including Sedibeng Water have indicated to workers that they will not be getting their salary and wage increases this month as agreed in both the ABC and the SALGBC while some have already applied or made known their intentions to be exempted from the collective agreements.
Of great concern to us is that some municipalities such as the City of Cape Town had made known their intentions even before the commencement of the negotiations in the SALGBC that workers will not be receiving any increases this year thus rendering the whole process futile and defining themselves outside of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).
We are not going to allow a situation wherein workers who by the way have ensured that there is continuity of the delivery of services during the pandemic are denied the salary and wage increases which are due to them.
We therefore demand that all municipalities and water boards should implement the salary and wage increases for workers as agreed in the ABC and the SALGBC. Any decision by a municipality or water board to not implement the salary and wage increases as agreed in both Bargaining Councils will be considered a provocation and a declaration of war against workers, a war that workers are ready to fight in defence of the the gains that have been made in both Bargaining Councils.
We therefore call on all our members and workers in general in both sectors to gear up and ready themselves to defend collective bargaining, otherwise these gains will be unilaterally reversed by employers. We say to workers: Ayihlome!
Issued by SAMWU Secretariat
Media Accreditation for the upcoming NUM National Policy Conference 26th-27th October 2021 in East London, at International Convention Centre
Livhuwani Mammburu, NUM National Spokesperson, 19 October 2021
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will hold its National Policy Conference from 26-27 October 2021 where a range of policy issues within the sectors where the NUM is organising would be discussed and future plans are outlined.
The policy conference, which would be taking place at East London International Convention Centre (ICC) is organised under the theme “Back to Basics Means to Engage in Recruitment and Service to Members”.
Amongst the speakers invited to address the conference are leaders from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (SACP) 1st Deputy General , the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and the IndustrALL Global Union.
]The Minister of Mineral Resources & Energy (DMRE) Gwede Mantashe and the Minister of Employment & Labour Thulas Nxesi are scheduled to address the policy conference.
Due to the high-security nature of the conference and in respect to the country’s Covid-19 Level -1 regulations, members of the media are urged to apply for accreditation timorously.
The NUM will not be able to entertain the last-minute request for accreditation.
For accreditation purposes, members of the media can forward their details i.e names, contact details and the name of the media house they are from to mamm...@gmail.com<mailto:mamm...@gmail.com> or lchi...@num.org.za<mailto:lchi...@num.org.za>.
The full programme will be distributed soon to accredited journalists.
For more detailed information, please contact:
Livhuwani Mammburu, NUM National Spokesperson, 083 809 3257
Luphert Chilwane, NUM Media Officer, 083 809 3255
The National Union of Mineworkers
7 Rissik Street.
Tel: 011 377 2111
Cell: 083 809 3257
Dumisane Magagula, SAMWU General Secretary, 19 October
The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) has learnt with great anger and agitation of a memorandum which was distributed by Sedibeng Water informing informing workers that their salaries will not be paid on the 20th of this month as per the contract of employment entered into between Sedibeng Water and its employees.
Sedibeng Water, a bulk water supplier to municipalities in the Free State, North West and Northern Cape Provinces claims that it is unable to pay workers’ salaries on time as a result of the failures by its clients being municipalities to pay for the services that it has rendered to them.
This notification of late payment of salaries comes after the municipality had earlier this month written to workers informing them that it will not be paying their salary increases as per the recently concluded salary and wage agreement in the Amanzi Bargaining Council (ABC) which Sedibeng Water is party to.
Sedibeng Water has proven itself to be an uncaring employer by giving workers only a day’s notice of the delay in salary payments yet it expects the same employees who will be hungry and without transport money to report for duty while they have not been paid their salaries.
As SAMWU, we are convinced that Sedibeng Water is deliberately creating confusion and panic amongst workers as justification for their intention to not honouring the salary and wage collective agreement which they formed part and parcel from the negotiations and ultimately the signing of the collective agreement.
We therefore support the cause of action that has been taken by workers at Sedibeng water in the three provinces to stop working until their salaries are paid along with the increases as agreed in the Bargaining Council. The employer cannot conveniently fail to pay workers their salaries as a means to justify their intention to renege on the salary and wage collective agreement.
No responsible employer can allow its employees to go home without salaries and more worryingly deny its employees their salary and wage increases. Workers should unite and defend collective bargaining and the gains that have been made in the Amanzi Bargaining Council otherwise they will be reversed by employers such as Sedibeng Water.
The delay in payment of salaries coupled with the intention to deny them their salaries and wage increases is nothing but a provocation of workers and workers will, as they have responded to the provocation decisively!
We therefore demand the immediate payment of workers’ salaries along with the increases which is due to them. Workers at Sedibeng Water will continue with the work stoppage until this demand is met.
Issued by SAMWU Secretariat
19 October, 2021
For the first time in 35 years, 10,000 workers are on strike at 14 John Deere plants Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas in the US.
The strike started at midnight on Wednesday 13 October, after workers rejected a proposed six-year contract on 10 October. John Deere offered a below inflation pay deal that amounted to a $1-per-hour wage increase for most workers, and eliminated pensions for new hires, at a time when the world’s largest farm equipment company is making record profits. Top management has profited from this development: John Deere's CEO John C. May made $15.6 million in 2020.
Union members say that John Deere's offer was an insult after they made billions for the company in a pandemic. As a popular T-shirt worn by striking workers said,
“Deemed essential in 2020, prove it in 2021. Can’t build it from home.”
UAW president and IndustriALL executive committee member Ray Curry, said:
“UAW John Deere members have worked through the pandemic after the company deemed them essential, to produce the equipment that feeds America, builds America and powers the American economy. These essential UAW workers are showing us all that through the power of a strong united union voice on the picket line they can make a difference for working families here and throughout the country.”
The company is attempting to maintain production by using white-collar workers as scabs, with sometimes disastrous results.
John Deere is trying to break a strike by having salaried office workers operate heavy machinery, let’s see how that’s going— pic.twitter.com/Yb1JkoFAH8
— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) October 15, 2021
IndustriALL general secretary Atle Høie wrote to Curry, saying:
“IndustriALL Global Union rallies behind more than 10,000 UAW John Deere members at 14 facilities in Illinois, Iowa and Kansas. We support your demands for workers at John Deere “to earn a decent living, retire with dignity and establish fair work rules.”
“We call on John Deere to fully consider the legitimate demands of UAW members, as well as recognise the vital contribution and commitment of workers throughout the pandemic to produce essential farming, construction and energy equipment, and agree on negotiating a fair collective agreement concerning, among others, wage gains and enhanced retirement benefits.
“Furthermore, IndustriALL severely condemns any attempt by the company to use scabs in order to undermine social dialogue and negotiations between the company’s management and our affiliate UAW.”
Analysts see the strike as part of a revolt by frontline, essential and production workers who made major sacrifices during the pandemic. The John Deere strike is part of an unprecedented wave of industrial action that is sweeping across many different sectors in the US, that the media has dubbed “Striketober”.
Union activists hope that this strike will be a turning point for the US labour movement, which has been in decline since Ronald Reagan defeated a strike by air traffic controllers in 1981. The 1980s saw the introduction of two-tier contracts that provide worse conditions for new hires. Labour militancy sank to an all-time low after the 2008 financial crisis, when many feared for their jobs.
However, there are increasing signs of workers wanting a new deal after making sacrifices during the pandemic.
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