Taking COSATU Today Forward, 5 November 2021

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Norman Mampane

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Nov 5, 2021, 2:13:55 AM11/5/21
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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

Friday, 5 November 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!
  • Kudumane Manganese Resources (KMR) forcing employees to vaccinate for covid-19
  • Former Blyvoor Gold Mine employees to march against the company today
  • SAMWU statement on uMgeni municipal elections outcomes
  • South Africa
  • COSATU statement on the 2021 Local Government Election results   
  • NUM welcomes the Companies Amendment Bill
  • International-Workers’ Solidarity!
  • What is the ILO doing to become greener?

Workers’ Parliament-Back2Basics 

Former Blyvoor Gold Mine employees to march against the company today

Zimisele Ponti, NUM Carltonville Regional Chairperson, 4 November 2021
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Carletonville Region together with the ANC Wards 5 and 27 would lead a protest march tomorrow (Friday 05 November 2021) to Blyvoor Gold Mine.

The march has been organised by ex-mineworkers and community members to demand fair and equal treatment of former Blyvoor workers,  proper health care facilities and the improvement of socio-economic conditions of former workers and the communities surrounding the mine.

Details of the Protest March are as followed:

Date: 05 October 2021

Venue: Blyvoor NG Kerk in Carletonville, proceeding to Shaft 5

Time: 9 am

Members of the media are invited to attend and report about the needs of the ex-mineworkers together with that of community members.

__________

Kudumane Manganese Resources (KMR) forcing employees to vaccinate for covid-19

Cornelius Manhe, NUM Kimberley Regional Secretary, 04 November 2021

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in Kimberley strongly condemns the conduct of Kudumane Manganese Resources based on the Memorandum(Memo) issued to employees and contractors dated 06 October 2021 forcing employees to vaccinate for Covid -19 and they should show proof of vaccination when entering the premises effective from the 01 November 2021.

Kudumane Manganese Resources is a mine situated in the Hotazel area of the Northern Cape Province. 

Further, the Memo states that non-vaccinated employees must submit negative PCR test results every Tuesday and the costs associated with such PCR tests will be for the employees' own accounts. 

The employees who failed to comply with the instruction (Memo) have been sent home and are said to be absent from work. 

Our grave concern is that this happened even though we have engaged the said mine, indicating our position that we are not against the voluntary vaccination; we are against the vaccination being made mandatory and further that the mine agreed to assist employees with PCR test on the mine with no costs to employees. 

We view the attitude of this employer as a violation of the constitutional rights of the employees and we will be approaching the Human Rights Commission on this matter. 

The NUM will fight tooth and nail any employer who will attempt to make Covid -19 vaccination mandatory, thus protecting the constitutional rights of our members.

South Africa 

COSATU statement on the 2021 Local Government Election results   

Sizwe Pamla, Cosatu National Spokesperson, 04 November 2021  

The Congress of South African Trade Unions salutes the millions of workers and South Africans who came out to vote for the African National Congress {ANC} in the 2021 Local Government Elections.    

We congratulate the ANC for remaining the leading choice and trusted political party by most South Africans. We applaud the sterling work that was done by the IEC and all its workers in making sure that the elections were successful, and our democracy is stronger.   

The Federation has noted with alarm and disappointment that many registered voters stayed away from elections this year. This voter apathy reflects the anger, distrust, and disdain that many South Africans have for our inefficient and dishonest political system.    

Most of our political parties are dishonest and self-serving, and this low voter turnout is an indictment on all of them. They have no credibility and South African voters are clearly not impressed.    

We find it disappointing but not shocking to see that the ANC’s share of the national vote has decreased dramatically to below the 50% mark. While these are disheartening developments, it would be insincere to pretend that we did not see this coming.    

The narrow focus on internal factional battles, the corruption scandals and the mismanagement of the economy have all contributed to this decline. Voters fired the first shot in 2016, when they ensured that the ANC lost control of major Metropolitan municipalities across the country.   

COSATU hopes that these disappointing election results will serve as a wake-up call and will jolt the ANC and its government into action. The upcoming Medium-Term Policy Statement ,next week, will provide the ANC government with an opportunity to prove to South Africans that it is listening to their cries, and it is taking their plight seriously.   

COSATU shall use its upcoming Central Executive Committee meeting to assess and do a deeper analysis of these election outcomes. The Federation is calling on all the MDM structures across the board to do an introspection because these results are scandalous, and they are an indictment not only on the ANC but on the entire Mass Democratic Movement.   

We expect that all those who have been entrusted with the responsibility to represent and serve communities will honour the commitments they have made to the people. The Federation will also be pushing that all Alliance partners go back to the communities ,and work to fix the problems that were identified and raised by communities during the election campaign.  

If the ANC wants to be returned to office with a majority in 2024, then it needs to fix Eskom and ensure that there is reliable and affordable electricity.  It needs to decisively deal with corruption and work to ensure those who steal go to jail.  The economy needs to be lifted from the doldrums and unemployment decisively reduced.  The message is clear, the voters have run out of patience and the ANC is running out of time.   

Issued by COSATU  

_________

NUM welcomes the Companies Amendment Bill

Nkosazana Masiza, NUM Parliamentary Liaison Officer, 4 November 2021

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) welcomes the Companies, Bill, we commend the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition for making strides to ensure the companies recognize and formalize the stakeholder participation.

Minister Ebrahim Patel introduced the Companies’ Amendment Bill published in the government gazette number 45250, notice 586 on the 1st October 2021, inevitably, the changes proposed in the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2021 has the embryonic potential on conferring long term benefits to organized labour as it seeks to facilitate; and promote transparency to allow organised labour to access critical business information and to ensure a law-abiding corporate in South Africa.

The Bill among others includes definitions that were not part of the principal act such as the B-BBEE, True owner, Securities, stakeholder, and a stakeholder agreement. Key provisions of the Bill include a requirement that large, listed companies disclose the wage gaps, the senior management salaries as well as the companies’ shareholding.  

The emphasis placed by the bill on transparency coincided with the principles of King IV, with a specific focus on transparency and accountability as a cornerstone for ethical governance. This is one of the elements of King IV codes that are incorporated into the companies Bill.

We are confident that parliament will fast track the deliberations on the bill and ensure that it is enacted into law in the first quarter of 2022. 

International-Solidarity 

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What is the ILO doing to become greener?

1 November 2021

The ILO has been mainstreaming environmental sustainability in its operations and programmatic work.

GENEVA (ILO News) – The approach of COP26 is focusing world attention on the risks of climate change and the imperative of environmental sustainability. The UN system is coordinating international efforts to limit emissions, and the ILO is spearheading the UN's Climate Action for Jobs Initiative , to boost climate action and green jobs.

Alongside the policy leadership, the ILO has also undertaken a series of concrete actions to improve its own organizational sustainability, and to achieve carbon neutrality.

The ILO’s efforts are part of a broader strategy within the UN system called "Greening the Blue".

In 2007, then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on all UN agencies, funds and programmes to "go green". The goal was to become climate neutral by 2020 through a combination of emission reductions and offsetting.

Launched soon afterwards, the "Greening the ILO" initiative works to improve the ILO’s environmental performance by measuring its carbon footprint and putting in place actions to reduce the environmental impacts of its buildings and operations, both in Geneva and in its network of country offices.

Guided by its 
ILO Environmental Sustainability Action Plans for 2018–21 , the ILO has implemented a wealth of initiatives to improve the ILO’s environmental performance.

“The ILO is committed to protecting the environment and reducing its impacts wherever possible,” said Els Brackenier, Director of Internal Services and Administration Department.

“Every year, headquarters and 48 field offices complete an environmental inventory, under the umbrella of 'Greening the Blue'. This exercise not only quantifies the ILO’s environmental impact but also helps to focus our efforts to improve environmental performance. In several areas, the ILO has accelerated these efforts towards the goal of achieving climate neutrality.”

A comprehensive approach has been adopted to improve sustainability and optimize management of resources, ranging from building renovation to waste treatment, and including procurement policies and the use of computer equipment.

Achieving carbon neutrality

The ILO started working on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in 2016, and it calculates and reports on the emissions of HQ and all 48 external offices on an annual basis. The goal is to improve the operations of the Organization, making them more environmentally-friendly. In 2020, for the first time, the ILO confirmed that it has achieved carbon neutrality, in line with the target set across the United Nations system to become climate neutral.

Several measures to reduce environmental impacts have been implemented at the ILO headquarters in Geneva, and the remaining carbon emissions are offset through the purchase of Certified Emission Reductions credits (CERs).

"The COVID-19 pandemic raised awareness of the fragility of our world and economy," confirmed Moustapha Kamal Gueye, head of the ILO’s Green Jobs Unit.

"It is therefore very timely that we have achieved carbon neutrality at the ILO, and we will continue our efforts to build a greener and more sustainable world and workplace.”

A greener and more sustainable building

Started in March 2015, the renovation of ILO headquarters in Geneva has had environmental concerns at its heart. The result of the renovation to date has been a more modern, safer and greener building, which optimizes the use of natural light and economizes energy.

"As part of its core objectives, the renovation project will significantly reduce the energy used to operate the building, and along with operational measures, will continue to lower the ILO’s environmental footprint," noted Mark Underhill, Director of the ILO Building Renovation Project.

Waste management and recycling

Waste management is a key element in ILO efforts to improve environmental sustainability.

At headquarters in Geneva, a centralized waste management system was implemented with the purpose of increasing the recycling of major waste streams. The Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, located in Bangkok, went even further: the UN-ESCAP building where the ILO is based has implemented a single-use plastic ban and no longer provides any disposable cutlery.

In the field, 10 offices have participated in a pilot initiative to develop and implement effective waste management practices. In addition, many ILO offices, including headquarters, have waste reduction initiatives in place, such as policies to reduce printing, removal of single-use plastic from staff canteens, and the provision of filtered drinking water so staff can bring their own bottles.

From print to digital

A “Papersmart Policy”, covering the production and distribution of paper documents, has also been introduced. This includes:

·        More high-performing printers with reduced environmental impacts were installed in the print shop at the ILO headquarters.

·        The implementation of performance work plans resulted in the reduction of paper waste in the print shop.

·        The use of official electronic correspondence increased by 37.5 per cent in 2016, and by 41.3 per cent in 2017.

__________________________

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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