Taking COSATU Today Forward, 19 November 2021

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Norman Mampane

Nov 19, 2021, 3:34:06 AM11/19/21
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Solidarity with workers under SACCAWU rejecting exploitation by MassMart/Walmart




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, 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!
  • SAMWU welcomes dismissal of Uthukela District Municipality exemption application
  • South Africa
  • The decision by the South African Reserve Bank is a reminder that it is an undemocratic, opaque, and unaccountable institution that serves the needs of the tiny elite 
  • SACP expresses its unwavering solidarity with the Massmart Group workers led by SACCAWU
  • Statement
  • International-Workers’ Solidarity!
  • NEHAWU statement on the action against the disinformation campaign by the US government
  • SACP rejects United States’ latest measures to destabilise Cuba
  • Bangladesh: Government uses excuses and delay tactics to deny workers their rights18

Ø  Union intensifies calls for urgent dialogue on multiparty democracy in Eswatini

Workers’ Parliament-Back2Basics 

SAMWU welcomes dismissal of Uthukela District Municipality exemption application


Dumisane Magagula, SAMWU General Secretary, 19 November 2021


The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) notes and welcomes the decision by the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) to dismiss yet another salary and wage exemption application. The ruling of the SALGBC follows hot on the heels of the dismissal of the City of Cape Town which also sought to be exempted from the recently concluded salary and wage collective agreement. 


On the 17th of November 2021, a Senior Panelist of the SALGBC exemptions committee ruled in favour of SAMWU and dismissed the application brought forward by the Uthukela District Municipality. Of great importance is that the Senior Panelist ruled that the application by the municipality was frivolous and as such awarded a cost order against the municipality and further directed the municipality to pay workers their salary and wage increases as per the signed collective agreement backdated to July 2021. 


As SAMWU, we are vindicated by this ruling particularly the cost order that has been awarded, we hope that the cost order will deter other municipalities from bringing frivolous applications to the Bargaining Council as we have seen previously. We further trust that other municipalities will learn from this in that they should stop wasting municipal resources and that of unions in defending the indefensible. We in fact believe that this has been fruitless and wasteful expenditure by the municipality and as such this money should be recouped directly from the Chief Accounting Officer of the municipality who brought this frivolous application. 


We cannot as SAMWU allow municipalities to continually bring frivolous exemption applications to the Bargaining Council. Frivolous applications prejudice workers who have gone five months without salary increases and more worryingly, workers’ money is being used by unions to defend these applications while municipalities are using public money in this crusade of theirs of reversing the gains of workers.


This is money that could have been used by the union to attend to other issues affecting workers and money that could have been used by municipalities to improve the lives of the residents that they serve. It is for this reason that we welcome the cost order and want this money to be personally recouped from Chief Accounting Officer and those who delegated him to make this application. 


Despite the fact that the Uthukela District Municipality had passed their 2021/22 budget with the inclusion of a 5.6% salary increase for municipal workers, and a projected surplus of over R10 million, they still sought to deny workers their salary and wage increases. This to us, is an indication that municipalities are seemingly getting advice elsewhere that they should do whatever it takes to ensure that despite sound finances, salary and wage increases should not be paid to municipal workers. 


We therefore as SAMWU welcome this ruling with joy and celebration. We yet again trust that this ruling will deter other municipalities from engaging in such practices that seek to undermine collective agreements. More importantly, we thank our members at the Uthukela District Municipality for trusting us with defending their right to salary and wage increases. 


We further trust that other municipal workers who have not yet received their salary and wage increases will get solace in knowing that the union is doing all it can in opposing all applications.


As we have indicated previously, we have already begun approaching the SALGBC to seek compliance orders against municipalities that have not implemented the salary and wage collective agreement without applying for exemption. 


Issued by SAMWU Secretariat

South Africa

The decision by the South African Reserve Bank is a reminder that it is an undemocratic, opaque, and unaccountable institution that serves the needs of the tiny elite  

Sizwe Pamla, Cosatu National Spokesperson, 18 November 2021 

 The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is disappointed by the South African Reserve Bank’s decision to increase the repo rate by 25 basis points in the face of a sluggish economy.  

This is a cruel slap in the face to millions of workers, consumers and businesses that are struggling to survive. This increase is going to suffocate the economy further at a time when the National Treasury has failed to provide any fiscal stimulus. 

 This decision is seriously jeopardizing the prospect of achieving even the modest targets on economic growth set by government in the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement last week.    

 The reserve bank’s monetary policy is a critical instrument for development and the reserve bank should align its policy to broader macro-economic policy objectives that by far outweigh the inflation targeting. 

 Its mandate cannot just be limited, only, to keeping inflation under control, but it also needs to focus on supporting economic growth and job creation too.  

 This is another reminder that the Reserve Bank is oblivious to the needs of the real economy but is obsessed with massaging the interests of lenders and bondholders  

 The South African Reserve Bank’s inflation targeting monetary policy framework has been in place for over two decades with very little success.    

 This shows that this obsession with maintaining the low levels of inflation, to the exclusion of other important economic variables such as employment generation, investment and poverty reduction is driven by ideology and not by results. Sadly, this dogmatism has left millions of South Africans living lives of brute survival.  

 Issued by COSATU


 SACP expresses its unwavering solidarity with the Massmart Group workers led by SACCAWU


18 November 2021

The South African Communist Party (SACP) is in solidarity with the over 18,000 workers led by the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU) at Massmart Group.

This is in line with the SACP’s founding principles against economic exploitation of labour by capital. Labour is the key source of value in the process of production. Yet the value, which is transformed into money through the process of exchange, is appropriated by the capitalist exploiters in the form of more and more profits and unending capital accumulation as their private property.

The Massmart Group workers are out on strike starting on Friday 19 November 2021 demanding simple things.

One, that the Massmart Group must stop unilateral restructuring and changes to their employment conditions.

Two, that the Massmart Group must increase their wages so they can improve their living conditions and those of their dependents.

The workers have mandated SACCAWU to mobilise for a consumer boycott of the Massmart Group stores starting on Monday, 22 November 2021.

The SACP joins the union in mobilising solidarity with the workers.

Massmart Group comprises the following warehouses and retail stores:

· Warehouse: Makro and Fruitspot

· Massbuild: Builders Warehouse, Builders Express, Builders Trade Depot and Builders Superstores

· Masscash: Rhino Cash & Carry, Jumbo Cash & Carry, Cambridge, and various other Cash & Carry stores








NEHAWU statement on the action against the disinformation campaign by the US government

Zola Saphetha, NEHAWU General Secretary, November 18, 2021
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] condemns the anti-Cuban protests planned by the U.S State Department, the CIA, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and other U.S. agencies and is appalled by the continued bullying of the Cubans by the USA.

This is not the first attempt by the USA administrations to propagate disinformation about the government of Cuba and to cause divisions between the government and the people. The US government through the US agencies and the CIA, NED used their influence and lobbying in US Capitol Hill to sway US policy towards an aggressive policy towards Cuba.

They have spent millions to discredit the revolution and the progressive people centred government of Cuba. They have on many occasions facilitated terrorist manoeuvres to try to overthrow the revolutionary government in Havana, in order to return Cuba to being a playground of the US.

The blockade against Cuba is the most comprehensive system of unilateral economic sanctions that has ever been applied against any country. It continues to be an obstacle in the development Cuba. The human damage caused by the blockade is incalculable. It constitutes a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of human rights. These anti-government protests attempt to remove the focus from the oppressive blockade that destroys the livelihoods of the Cubans and pushes interests of the US government for a regime change.

The UN must stand with Cuba and increase the pressure on President Joseph Biden and the US Congress to end to the over 60-year-old cruel sanctions and aggressive hostility against Cuba! The people of Cuba will not be fooled by the propaganda of the US, they know the truth and protect the revolution and the right to sovereignty.

NEHAWU condemns the consistent bullying of Cuba by the US and its agencies and reiterates its solidarity with the heroic people of Cuba. We demand the end of the blockade and sanctions against Cuba. We demand an end to the disinformation of Cuba.

Long Live Cuba


Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat


SACP rejects United States’ latest measures to destabilise Cuba

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.







Bangladesh: Government uses excuses and delay tactics to deny workers their rights18

18 November 2021

The government of Bangladesh reported little to no progress to the ILO Governing Body on the road map to improve workers’ rights agreed earlier this year.

It used delaying tactics and is continuing to put the lives of working people at risk:

·     35,000 Bangladeshis die at work every year.

·     Eight million are injured.

·     Sexual violence is rife.

·     Millions of workplaces are barely monitored by government labour inspectors.

·     Working people are trapped in jobs with poverty wages.

·     Five workers died after a fire broke out at shoe factory in Dhaka as the government was preparing its report to the ILO.

The ILO Governing Body agreed that the government of Bangladesh should report on progress made in the implementation of the road map in March 2022 and deferred the decision on further action in respect of the Article 26 complaint until November 2022.

An Article 26 complaint is the highest sanction that can be levelled by the ILO against a country for abuse of workers’ rights.

“Every day of delay puts the lives of working people at risk. The road map, if implemented, will put in place a floor of rights for all workers in Bangladesh, but the government must be serious about a timeline to deliver the changes set out by workers and their unions.

“The government of Bangladesh must hold employers to account for unsafe working environments and recognise that unions provide workers with justice and protection of their safety. Unions should be recognised in all sectors of the economy,” said Sharan Burrow, ITUC general secretary.

The ITUC is calling for:

·     the immediate implementation of a tripartite committee to engage in social dialogue, the basis of modern industrial relations;

·     a new system of alternative dispute resolutions to resolve grievances, an end to the backlog of cases, and rebuilding of trust with workers; and

·     an evidence-based minimum wage for workers in all sectors.

“Social dialogue, functioning grievance and remedy procedures, and an evidence-based minimum wage will give Bangladesh the foundations for an economic recovery from COVID-19 and bring an end to the reliance on exploitative supply chains,” said Sharan Burrow.

The ITUC has identified ten areas of inaction by the Bangladeshi government against which it must report progress in March 2022.

1.          Where tripartite monitoring or consultative committees were to be set up, the conditions precedent for meaningful and productive consultations or effective monitoring were non-existent, including a published schedule of meetings, meeting notices, list of issues and relevant briefing documents.

2.          Occupational health and safety modalities for the export processing zones have not been adopted, and the EPZ authorities still have power over labour inspectors and OSH officers, contrary to ILO Convention 81 and in the face of reports of occupational injuries and deaths.

3.          Labour inspection systems are not adequately resourced, and sufficient personnel have not been recruited.

4.          Independent unions are still denied registration and are discriminated against.

5.          No steps have been taken to address anti-union discrimination, unfair labour practices and violence against workers.

6.          There is no database for complaints of anti-union discrimination, unfair labour practices and attacks against unions.

7.          A long backlog of labour disputes remains, with growing complaints of corruption and injustice against the judiciary.

8.          There is growing intolerance by the security forces for the exercise of trade union rights and activities.

9.          The police and other security forces have not been held accountable for the attacks during the Ashulia demonstrations of 2016 and 2019, and the government has failed to institute an independent inquiry as recommended by the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association.

10.       No mechanism has been established to provide regular information to workers on their rights and on how to lodge complaints and access legal support in case of violations.

The ITUC is building public and community support through the campaign for A Better Bangladesh and is monitoring labour rights abuses to seek justice for workers.


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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