Solidarity with workers under SACCAWU rejecting exploitation by MassMart/Walmart
Taking COSATU Today Forward Special Bulletin
‘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
Thursday, 18 November 2021
‘Deepen the Back to Basics Campaign, Consolidate the Struggle for the NDR and Advance the Struggle for Socialism’
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Sam Lekhuleni, SAMWU Mpumalanga Provincial Secretary, 18 November 2021
The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) in Mpumalanga Province welcomes the reinstatement of the 500 workers who were abruptly dismissed by the Steve Tshwete Local Municipality.
The over 500 workers were dismissed by the municipality on the 12th November 2021 following the protracted dispute that workers had raised that their salaries should be adjusted in line with the upgrade of the municipality in 2017 from a category 4 to a category 6.
Following the termination of their contract of employment, the SAMWU along with the SACP, COSATU, the municipality and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) in the province held a marathon of meetings to salvage the situation with the aim of ensuring that service delivery to the residents of Steve Tshwete is not compromised and that the workers are returned to work.
These meetings resulted in a settlement agreement being reached between SAMWU, Steve Tshwete Local Municipality and COGTA. As per the settlement agreement, all workers will be reinstated as of the 18th November 2021.
More importantly, parties have agreed that a process of salary adjustment will be undertaken to resolve the dispute. We are pleased in the manner in which parties engaged in resolving the dispute by putting the interests of community members and those of workers first.
We however express our dissatisfaction in the non availability of political leadership of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) in this municipality and other municipalities where there is instability.
Legally, SALGA is supposed to provide support and advice to municipalities especially in the time of need like we have seen in the Steve Tshwete Local Municipality for the last 4 years.
As SAMWU, we are of the view that this impasse would have long been resolved had the municipality engaged workers when the issue of the municipality’s grading was first raised by workers.
We would not be where we are today had the institution shown interest in addressing the issues that were raised by workers, instead, the municipality elected to suppress the the dispute resulting in the industrial action.
As the municipality prepares to inaugurate its 6th administration, we call on the new Councillors to ensure that there is sound labour relations in the municipality by always listening to workers and their grievances. By so doing, the new Council will create an environment where workers are motivated, resulting in increased productivity in the interest of service delivery.
We further urge the new Council to play their role in conducting proper support and oversight role on the administrative arm of the institution as they are constitutionally required to do so. The first priority for the Council should be the implementation of the settlement agreement, stabilising the institution and improving the quality of services that residents receive.
Our members at the Steve Tshwete Local Municipality have demonstrated that indeed the power is in their hands as workers. We therefore thank them for their resilience and dedication to the cause of ensuring that their demands are attended to and met by the employer. This serves as an example of the strength of workers when they are united.
Lastly, we acknowledge the continued support from the Office of the Premier, the COGTA MEC, our federation COSATU and the vanguard of the working class, the SACP. None of this would have happened without the various roles that they played. We further more thank community members who have supported the workers throughout the dispute.
Ours is now to return to work and ensure that community members continue receiving the much needed basic services.
Issued by SAMWU Mpumalanga Province
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] support today’s socioeconomic protest convened by its sister union, the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union [SATAWU] against the privatisation of transport services.
The protest action by SATAWU occurs at a time when government through its neoliberal agenda has embarked on a concerted project to privatise state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and the state’s strategic assets within transport sector. This is evident with the planned privatisation of both the National Ports Authority (NPA) and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) through strategic equity partners and the commercialisation of the passenger rail station infrastructure.
Indeed, the sale of South African Airways was a clear indication that the government intends to privatise state-owned entities.
As NEHAWU, we fully support SATAWU and its members in their fight against the privatisation of the transport sector. The planned privatisation of the sector is a continuation of attacks directed to workers and the working class. The quest to privatise state-owned entities especially the transport service sector totally goes against the agenda of building a capable developmental state.
As NEHAWU, we support the demands of SATAWU against the privatisation of the sector and the demands which include amongst others:
Lastly, as NEHAWU, we will work with our sister union, SATAWU to wage a relentless struggle against the privatisation of state-owned entities which include the transport sector. As part of preparing COSATU Central Executive Committee scheduled for the 22nd to 24th November 2021, NEHAWU will lobby its sister unions to place on the agenda or discuss the onslaught driven by this government administration against work rights and collective bargaining including privatisation.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
16 November 2021
The South African Communist Party (SACP) stands with the government and people of Cuba in defence of their democratic national sovereignty, their right to self-determination, their right to make their own transformation and development policy choices free from imperialist and any external interference and subjugation.
The imperialist regime of the United States is adopting a new round of measures to destabilise Cuba and destroy Cuban independence. This is aimed at subordinating Cuba to the whims of the capitalist ruling class in the United States and its imperialist agenda. For over half-a-century the United States has been pushing and intensifying imperialist measures to interfere in the national affairs of Cuba, with the ulterior motive of regime change. These measures include the illegal, criminal and extra-territorial blockade of Cuba, the occupation of the Cuban territory of Guantanamo Bay, the creation and sponsoring of groups of agents, showered with biased media coverage propaganda, attempts at assassinating Cuban leaders, to name but a few.
Now the United States government aims to justify the tightening of its blockade with the 243 new sanctions imposed by its former president, Donald Trump, and maintained in full force by the big liar, its new president, Joe Biden. During his campaign for the presidency of the United States, the big liar said he would reverse the draconian measures imposed by Trump and normalise relations with Cuba based on the little progress made under Barack Obama as the president of the United States. Now he is doing the exact opposite.
Biden's tightening of the measures adopted by the Trump administration is in addition to over 60 genocidal sanctions imposed by the United States on the Cuban people during the COVID-19 pandemic. The SACP rejects the imperialist measures in solidarity with the Cuban people.
The United Nations has, for 29 years in a row, overwhelmingly voted for the United States government to stop its illegal and unilateral economic embargo on Cuba.
The SACP reiterates its call to the United States to, unconditionally and with immediate effect, end its occupation of the Cuban territory of Guantanamo Bay, its illegal, criminal and extra-territorial blockade of Cuba, and all its machinations in the affairs of the Cuban government and people.
ISSUED BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN COMMUNIST PARTY | SACP
EST. 1921 AS THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF SOUTH AFRICA | CPSA
1921–2021: 100 YEARS OF UNBROKEN STRUGGLE
PUT PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT
SOCIALISM IS THE FUTURE—BUILD IT NOW!
18 November, 2021
IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, the Amalgamated Trade Union of Swaziland (ATUSWA), reiterated its calls for a multiparty democracy in Eswatini during its 2nd congress at Sidvokodvo on 13 November.
The congress was attended by 60 delegates from the union’s 20 branches from the textile and garment sector and other manufacturing industries.
The congress was held under the theme: Reasserting worker control in the defence of fundamental rights. The national congress discussed how ATUSWA “can maximize its contribution towards democratization of the country in order to have a government that listens to the plight of the workers.”
The union says judging by recent events workers’ and human rights including freedom of association continue to be violated.
Wander Mkhonza, ATUSWA general secretary says:
“On 21 October, while at a meeting in Matsapha, and as a build-up to the textile strike action that was interdicted by the Industrial Court, the police without warning threw tear-gas at the workers and union officials. This happened even though the police had been informed of the meeting.”
Further, the union states that over 100 people, including union members, were shot and killed by the police and army while several were injured in recent pro-democracy protests. The injured and dead include high school students. Schools, colleges, and universities are still closed with only a few opening for examinations.
“There must be urgent dialogue now and not in three months’ time. This is the time for decisive action. We cannot afford to delay when state security agents continue to use excessive force,”
Despite the violence, the union continues to encourage workers to take part in the pro-democracy campaign and argues that workers, as members of communities, should be involved in community struggles.
“For a long time, the people of Eswatini have faced brute force and persecution from the security forces and the courts when they demonstrated. We want democratic reforms and not an absolute monarchy headed by a king more concerned about the luxuries of the royal family at the expense of citizens who live in poverty. We want meaningful dialogue, and will continue protesting until our demands are met,”
said one worker.
Petitions have been presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council by unions and civil society organizations calling upon the government to respect human rights.
Atle Høie, IndustriALL general secretary, wrote to the Eswatini Prime Minister, Cleopas Dlamini:
“At the IndustriALL Global Union Congress, on 14-15 September, 3000 online delegates from 434 organizations in 111 countries adopted unanimously a resolution, which expresses deep concern about the continuing violence in Eswatini and calls for democratic reforms in the country.”
The Southern African Development Community, chairperson for the organ on politics, defence and security, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa met with King Mswati III as part of diplomatic efforts “to end violence and conflict and maintain peace and calm in the kingdom as work commences on the national dialogue process.”
Protests erupted in Eswatini, Africa’s only absolute monarchy, when communities, unions and civil society organizations took to the streets to demand democratic reforms including a review of the 2005 constitution, a repeal of the 1973 proclamation that banned political parties, and other repressive laws.
King Mswati III, who has executive, judicial, and legislative powers, makes key appointments of ministers and the prime minister. An extravagant lifestyle of the king and the royal family – of luxury cars and private jets – amidst poverty, inequality and unemployment has angered unions, communities, and civil society. The king, who is listed among the richest monarchs has an estimated net worth of $200 million. His family of 15 wives and 23 children benefits from a national budget allocation of over $65 million per year for the royal household.
According to the World Food Programme, Eswatini has a poverty rate of 58.9 per cent and the country’s 26 percent HIV prevalence is amongst the highest in the world. Unemployment is estimated to be over 40 per cent.
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