Taking COSATU Today Forward Special Bulletin, 19 November 2021

Skip to first unread message

Norman Mampane

Nov 19, 2021, 8:30:53 AM11/19/21
to cosatu-d...@googlegroups.com, cosatu-d...@gmail.com, Khanyisile Fakude, Alfred Mafuleka, Babsy Nhlapo, Bheki Ntshalintshali, Zingi...@gmail.com, Dibuseng Pakose, Dolly Ngali, Enos Ramaru, Gert...@cosatu.org.za, Jabulile Tshehla, Theo Steele, Nhlanhla Ngwenya, Nthabiseng Makhajane, Tshidi Makhathini, Bongani Masuku, masukub...@gmail.com, Freda Oosthuysen, Khaliphile Cotoza, Kopano Konopi, Louisa Nxumalo, Matthew Parks, Mkhawuleli Maleki, Monyatso Mahlatsi, Mph...@cosatu.org.za, nts...@cosatu.org.za, Patience Lebatlang, phi...@cosatu.org.za, Ruth Mosiane, Solly Phetoe, Thabo Mokoena, Thandi Makapela, Thokozani Mtini, Toeki Kgabo, Tony Ehrenreich, wel...@cosatu.org.za, Zanele Matebula, Zingiswa Losi, Norman Mampane, Donald Ratau, Fi...@cosatu.org.za, Sis...@cosatu.org.za, Phumeza Mpalweni, Edwin Mkhize, Gerald Twala, Sizwe Pamla, Abel Tlhole Pitso, tam...@cosatu.org.za, Tshepo Mabulana, Gosalamang Jantjies, Mpheane Lepaku, Lebogang Mulaisi, Jan Mahlangu, Tam...@cosatu.org.za, Thabo Mahlangu, James Mhlabane, Paul Bester, Benoni Mokgongoana, Moji Lethuloe, Parks, Mampane External, Malvern de Bruyn, Orapeleng Moraladi, Mich...@nehawu.org.za, thi...@saccawu.org.za, Louisa Thipe, Itumeleng Molatlhegi, Nelly Masombuka, Matimu Shivalo, Emanuel Mooketsi, Sihle Dlomo, Collins Matsepe, Sandra Khoza, kamo...@cosatu.org.za, nom...@cosatu.org.za, Sonia Mabunda-Kaziboni, Kabelo Kgoro, Mzoli Xola, Boitumelo Molete, Mongezi Mbelwane, Zimasa Ziqubu, Ntombizodwa Pooe, Kgaladi Makuwa





Next Week, COSATU holds its year-end CEC




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

Friday, 19 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!




  • Workers Parliament: Back to Basics!
  • SADTU is in solidarity with striking SACCAWU members at Massmart Stores
  • South Africa
  • COSATU supports the strike action by SACCAWU members at Massmart Group 
  • International-Workers’ Solidarity!
  • UNI joins nearly 90 other organizations to demand that Moderna supply vaccines to low-income nations

Ø  Unifor fights against lockout at Ash Grove, Canada

Workers’ Parliament-#Back2Basics 

SADTU is in solidarity with striking SACCAWU members at Massmart Stores

Mugwena Maluleke, SADTU General Secretary, 19 November 2021

The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) expresses its full support and solidarity with her fellow COSATU affiliate, the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU) whose members at Massmart Group today embarked on a protected strike.

Over 18 000 workers who work for the Massmart Group which own, among others, Game, Makro, Massbuild (Builders), Rhino Cash and Carry and Jumbo Cash and Carry downed tools following unresolved disputes stemming from the company’s unilateral restructuring and unilateral changes to terms and conditions of employment, and a wage dispute wherein the workers are demanding a R500 across the board increase at Massbuild whilst the employer is offering R320.

Workers have every right to be heard if there are changes in their terms and conditions of service or restructuring. We won’t allow Massmart to supress the rights of the workers which they fought hard for. We urge Massmart to meet the demands of the workers.

SADTU supports SACCAWU’s call for a consumer boycott of all Massmart Stores and planned marches to take place in the coming week.

An injury to one is an injury to all!

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat

South Africa

COSATU supports the strike action by SACCAWU members at Massmart Group 
Sizwe Pamla, Cosatu National Spokesperson, 19 November 2021 

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) fully supports the strike action by our affiliated union South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU) at the Massmart Group. 

This is a protected strike that starts today Friday, the 19th of November 2021. The declaration of a strike action follows the Massmart Group’s decision to unilaterally restructure and change workers terms and conditions of employment without consultation.  

This includes attempts to impose a 40-hour working week, which includes Sunday work with no premium, as well as reduction of working hours from 195 hours to 120 hours. This unilateral change to terms and conditions of employment also affects Makro, where commission earners have been overburdened with unreasonably high targets.  As a result of this unilateralism, workers will lose a portion of their income at some distribution centres. 

There is also the matter of a wage dispute at Mass build; the Union is demanding an increase of R500 across the board whilst the employer is offering R320 or 4.1%.   

The strike will affect Massmart Group which includes Mass Warehouse (made up of Makro and Fruit spot); Mass build (constituted by Builders Warehouse, Builders Express, Builders Trade Depot and Builders Superstores); Mass cash (consisting of Rhino Cash & Carry, Jumbo Cash & Carry, Cambridge, and various independent Cash & Carry stores.   

The federation is calling on all South African consumers to support this legitimate struggle for workers in defense of their rights by boycotting Massmart stores effective from Monday the 22nd of November.  

This company is wreaking havoc on the workers and their livelihoods, and its tactics are anti-worker and anti-poor. 

The Federation supports its affiliated union SACCAWU in its pushback campaign against this onslaught directed at workers. We intend to work with them to expand our mobilisation by engaging with other federations and progressive mass-based organisations and civil society structures to fight this onslaught against workers.

We also urge all our affiliated unions to offer practical solidarity to SACCWU, as the union embarks on this important programme to defend its members.  

Issued by COSATU  



UNI joins nearly 90 other organizations to demand that Moderna supply vaccines to low-income nations

17 November 2021

UNI Global Union is one of 87 civil society groups calling on Moderna to help end vaccine apartheid.

The organizations—coordinated by the People’s Vaccine Alliance and including Public Citizen, the ITUC and Oxfam—sent a 16 November letter to the company’s CEO Stéphane Bancel that asked whether Moderna will transfer vaccine technology to qualified manufacturers through the World Health Organization to speed up production. They called on Moderna to disclose if it will sell vaccine doses to low- and middle-income countries at a not-profit price, including through COVAX, the global program distributing COVID-19 vaccines. The groups also demanded the company to immediately disclose whether it has excess production capacity to help meet the massive vaccine shortage in low- and middle-income countries.

“Moderna lags behind even its recalcitrant Big Pharma counterparts when it comes to offering a dose of compassion to the world in this time of need,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program. “The Biden administration and WHO have asked for Moderna’s help, and so far Moderna largely has spurned them, despite the U.S. government’s essential role developing the NIH-Moderna vaccine and significant contributions to making Moderna executives billionaires. It is past time to share the NIH-Moderna vaccine with the world.” 

The NIH-Moderna vaccine is the best defence against COVID-19, with the potential to save millions of lives worldwide in the near future and help end the pandemic. Yet Moderna has shipped a greater share of doses to wealthy nations than any other COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer, leaving low- and middle-income countries without doses or with long waits and high prices. 

“Thousands are dying each day from COVID-19 while Moderna keeps its vaccine out of reach,” said Max Lawson, co-chair of the People’s Vaccine Alliance. “Any and all of the company’s spare capacity should be used to ramp up vaccine manufacturing. But there is another huge pool of untapped global manufacturing capacity that Moderna’s CEO Stéphane Bancel can unleash – if he immediately shares the technology and know-how needed to manufacture Moderna’s jab – especially with the WHO’s mRNA hub in South Africa.”

While the majority of the populations in rich nations like the European Union and United States are vaccinated against COVID, only 4.5 per cent of people in low-income countries have received one dose.

“The virus does not differentiate between people in low-income countries and people in rich nations, and neither should pharmaceutical giants regarding access to life-saving medicine,” said Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union. “Moderna has received billions in public money to develop this vaccine and must recognize its obligation to the public to help vaccinate the world. No one is truly safe until we all are.”


Unifor fights against lockout at Ash Grove, Canada

19 November, 2021

Having been locked out since May this year, more than a hundred workers are fighting to get their jobs back at Cimenterie Ash Grove, Canada owned by CRH, construction materials multinational of Irish origin.

Towards the end of 2020, 154 members of Unifor Local 177 learnt of the closure of two of the four kilns at the Joliette plant, putting at least half of their jobs at risk.

"It's obviously a shock-wave for workers. It's uncertainty on top of what everyone is already experiencing with the pandemic," Renaud Gagné, Unifor Quebec director, said at the time.

Even though the collective bargaining was still ongoing, Unifor members were illegally locked out on 22 May. The legal lockout started on 3 June.

Despite a severe lack of cement with rising market prices and a shortage of labour, Ash Grove refuses to use a recall list of current employees, which would allow workers to access other jobs in the company. Instead, the employer is using labour agencies and subcontractors.

Renaud Gagné says: “This dispute is a direct attack on the very existence of a union in the company by local management. All we want is an opportunity to have seniority recognized and a right to training for positions that employees have never held.”

Since the start of the lockout, the union has organized a series of actions. On 22 October, Unifor together with Quebec Federation of Labor, held a mobilization in solidarity with the locked-out workers. On 8 October, Unifor members demonstrated at the Port of Trois-Rivières and in July, more than a hundred Unifor members and allies responded to the union's call for solidarity action in front of the Ash Grove cement plant in Joliette.

In response to the union mobilisation, Ash Grove management obtained a new injunction limiting union actions. The employer also filed a 2.6 CAD million (about 2.1 USD million) management grievance for lost production and equipment breakdown and dismissed two members of Local 177, including a member of the bargaining committee.

In a letter to CRH CEO Albert Manifold, IndustriALL Global Union is demanding an end to the union busting at the Joliette site in Quebec, Canada.

Alexander Ivanou, materials industries officer at IndustriALL, says:

“We are shocked at the employer’s behaviour. We express our strong solidarity with Unifor members and will seek solidarity from the CRH global union network and EWC. The union busting must stop immediately.”

CRH Canada employs 4,000 people in 100 production facilities. Worldwide, the global giant employs more than 76,000 people in over 3,000 locations in 29 countries on four continents.


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



Disclaimer: This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager. This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail. Please notify the sender immediately by e-mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system. If you are not the intended recipient you are notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited.
Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages