COSATU scheduled to hold its year-end CEC next week
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, 17 November 2021
‘Deepen the Back to Basics Campaign, Consolidate the Struggle for the NDR and Advance the Struggle for Socialism’
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Khanyisile Fakude, COSATU Human Resources and Administrative Secretary, 17 November 2021
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has a vacant position of Industrial Policy Coordinator, based in its head office in Braamfontein.
The successful candidate will be responsible for coordinating COSATU’s inputs, engagements and policy development on trade and industrial policy matters. This includes drafting and providing advice with regards to trade and industry policies, regulations and legislation. The position’s responsibilities include coordinating the Federation and Affiliates’ engagements on trade and industrial policy matters and engaging in the related for a, including the industrial sectoral master plans.
Functions and Responsibilities:
• Undertake innovative research and prepare high quality research reports;
• Draft position papers, summarise and provide initial critiques of documentation, reports on meetings, and develop initial drafts of position papers;
• Participate in meetings, convene caucuses, identify appropriate expertise and represent COSATU position in mid-level meetings (NEDLAC Chambers etc.);
• Produce monitoring developments in the area, initial drafts of monitoring framework, maintain oversight of developments in area of work and provide administrative support for monitoring
• Conceptualise, scope and develop proposals for projects related to trade and industrial policy;
• Assist in educational workshops and develop educational materials in collaboration with COSATU’s Education and Training Department as far as trade and industrial issues are concerned;
• Assist Affiliates and Provinces where needed; draft policy frameworks for engagement; develop agendas for and manage workshops on policy issues;
• Liaise with and support economic policy-making entities in South Africa in line with COSATU’s mandate and priorities;
• Promote and engage in constructive discussions and debates about trade and industrial policy.
Required Qualifications and Skills
• Post-graduate qualification (at least a Honour’s degree) in Economics or a related field
• A least two years of experience in policy research and trade analysis and writing;
• Demonstrate interest and expertise in themes related to international trade, industrial policy and regional integration
• Strong writing, editing and presentation skills, with an excellent command of written and spoken English
• Knowledge of national and international developments on trade and other economic issues;
• Strong knowledge of research and economic data sources
• Attention to detail, highly organised, and able to work both in a team and independently;
• Ability to analyse information for strategic decision-making
• Ability to represent the identity and interests of the Federation at appropriate levels; and
• Demonstrate an energetic and enthusiastic personality.
Applications should be sent before 26th November 2021 with a detailed CV to:
The COSATU Acting General Secretary c/o Khanyisile Fakude
Email to khany...@cosatu.org.za
Please note that communication will only be made to those who will be short-listed.
Department of Employment and Labour revamping its labour activation programme to address efficiency and assist integrate unemployed
The Department of Employment and Labour seeks to revamp its labour activation programme (LAP) to deepen its impact in job creation initiatives and help integrate the unemployed into the labour market.
The Department’s Director-General, Thobile Lamati said the goal of the revamp is to shorten the response time and make impact immediately. He was speaking today during his opening address to a departmental LAP’s three-day workshop held at Saint George Hotel in Irene, Gauteng Province.
The workshop is being attended by departmental senior officials from various branches such as the Public Employment Services and those of its entities such as the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the Compensation Fund and Productivity SA.
Lamati said the workshop needs to ask the question what type of LAP “we want to see”?
The department has in the main historically been managing its LAP via the Unemployment Insurance Fund. Labour Activation Programme refers to deliberate interventions designed to integrate or re-integrate the unemployed into the labour market. Some of the LAP programmes that have been undertake by the department includes the Training of the Unemployed (TOU), Enterprise Development (ED) Training Layoffs Scheme (TLS) and Turnaround Solutions (TAS).
The objective of LAP is to enhance employability, enable entrepreneurship and preserve jobs.
Lamati said South Africa’s broad unemployment rate currently sitting at 42 percent was concerning and was too high by any standard. The reality facing South Africa today is that the economy is faced with structural challenges in regard to skills mismatch and that the economy is not growing fast to absorb the “growing army of the unemployed”, he said.
“Faced with this reality like any country, South Africa has adopted active labour market policy interventions. Active labour market policies are our shield. This means that we need to stimulate the demand and supply. LAP is part of our active labour market intervention policies to deal with unemployment,” he said.
Lamati said the job of the department was to work with other stakeholders who are involved in job creation to help the unemployed into employment and business opportunities.
“Over the next few days – we will look at the structure, monitor the impact of our interventions in responding to the needs of the unemployed,” Lamati said labour activation has since its inception become an important cog of our unemployment interventions and a game-changer to work seekers in general.
Lamati said some of the models that will be considered include - the flexicurity; mutual obligation and active inclusion for all.
“Through this proposed LAP revamp we want a high degree of efficiency - no matter the model. The focus is not institutional arrangement nor the structure. Our focus should be how best we make the programme highly efficient. The structure is not an overriding factor.
“We also need to protect existing jobs,” Lamati said.
Cell: 067 426 4190
16 November, 2021
The 26th Conference of the Parties concluded on Saturday, 13 November. Union representatives who attended the conference believe that the final agreement struck on Saturday evening, the so-called Glasgow Climate Pact, lacks the ambition needed to limit global warming to 1.5° C compared to pre-industrial levels as defined in the Paris Agreement.
Despite pandemic restrictions, an impressive number of trade unions were represented at the COP, coordinated by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). In a statement released yesterday, the ITUC stressed that a jobs plan with Just Transition was essential to implement the agreement.
The most critical demands from trade unions were the integration of Just Transition into the operational part of the Paris Agreement – the so-called Paris Rulebook - as well as commitments to human rights, the need to implement commitments on climate finance, and financing for loss and damage to compensate vulnerable countries dealing with climate disasters.
Prior to the conference, the International Panel for Climate Change found that global warming has already reached 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels, and is on track to reach 2.7°C. Countries will also miss 2030 National Determined Contributions (NDC) targets: instead of reaching the necessary emission reduction target of 45 per cent, emissions are set to increase by 13 per cent by 2030. Countries are being urged to submit updated NDCs in 2022.
Developed countries failed to meet their commitments to provide US $100 billion annually to support developing countries to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. Instead, they committed to defining a new finance goal by 2024 and doubling climate finance by 2025.
At the concluding plenary on Saturday evening, India and China watered down commitments to phase out coal and fossil fuel subsidies, by changing the language to “phase down”. This amendment was pushed in the final text of the agreement, while other countries were discouraged from introducing new amendments in order to conclude the negotiations. Crucially, Mexico was prevented from introducing language on human rights.
Countries vulnerable to climate change felt overrun by this change of language, while their push for a finance mechanism to support them dealing with loss and damage was blocked, in particular by the US and the EU.
Speaking on behalf of the global labour movement, Richard Hardy of the Prospect union addressed the final plenary, saying:
“As the voice of workers, we are truly puzzled. To whom have you been listening in the run up to this COP? How has the outcome on ambition, finance, responsibility and inclusion fallen so short?”
“Labour rights are human rights! Unions need a voice at the table in social dialogue processes that deliver on jobs, just transition plans and investments.
“This is how we will deliver the climate ambition that is needed. We hoped for greater ambition here in Glasgow, and as we move forward, the global trade union movement demands that we set our sights much, much higher.”
There were victories for unions: Just Transition language was introduced into the preamble texts of Article 6 of the Rulebook, dealing with International Carbon Markets, and there were promising commitments, such as the Declaration on Just Transition and the commitment to fund the phase-out of coal in South Africa.
Judith Kirton-Darling, deputy general secretary of industriAll Europe, said:
“We regret the lack of ambition and commitment to Just Transition. Trade unions very actively demanded climate ambition linked to guarantees of quality jobs and strong social dialogue mechanisms. This will only be achieved if Just Transition commitments are integrated systematically into the operational parts of the Paris Agreement.”
Kemal Özkan, assistant general secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, said:
“The transition to net zero is not a transition of the rich, governments, multinational companies and financial institutions. It is a transition of all people and all countries. However, at the last stages of the negotiations, this did not seem to matter to the powerhouses making the final decisions.
“We got a multilateral deal, but we saw a lot of hypocrisy and spin in the plenary room. We were especially disappointed to see the EU blocking developing countries’ demands for a finance mechanism to support them dealing with the loss and damage caused by climate disasters.”
Trade unions will continue to fight for climate ambition linked to Just Transition in line with the ILO Guidelines at COP27 next year in Sharm-El-Sheikh.
On 24 October, the Japan Teachers’ Union (JTU) held a tribute ceremony at the Education Tower in the Osaka Castle Park to pay homage to educators and children who have lost their lives. This year, a special focus was placed on educators and students who died as a result of COVID-19.
The Education Tower and Festival
In the Education Tower, “a solemn and healing place for bereaved families”, there are about 30,000 name plates in memory of educators and students, indicated JTU President Hideyuki Shimizu.
“Many 70- or 80-year-old people attended, although their children had passed away long ago. For them, the fourth Sunday of October is very special. JTU therefore could not change the date, although we wanted to pay tribute on World Teachers’ Day, 5 October,” Shimizu explained.
Muroto Typhoon’s devastating impact in 1934
The Education Tower initially served as a memorial to schoolteachers and students who died on 21 September 1934, when the Muroto Typhoon struck the Kansai region. One of the most powerful ever recorded at the time, the typhoon hit at the start of a school day, and over 600 children and 25 educators in Osaka died.
Many schools of that era were wooden structures that could not withstand powerful winds, and over 200 of Osaka's educational institutions were destroyed or badly damaged.
Stories later circulated of teachers who heroically risked their lives to lead students to safety or attempted to shelter them as buildings collapsed.
Immediately after the disaster, Osaka’s educational community proposed the construction of a monument in the memory of children, teachers, and education support personnel, hoping that such a disaster would never happen again.
Holding an extraordinary general meeting, the Imperial Education Society decided to build a memorial tower. The construction of the Education Tower in the Osaka Castle Park was funded by public donations. It was completed on 30 October 1936, with the first Education Festival held that same day. Since then, the festival has been held at the end of October every year.
JTU organises the festival
In 1948, the JTU took over the maintenance and management of the tower from the dissolved Imperial Education Society and was charged with the organisation of the education festival.
Today, the memorial honours educators and students in general, including those killed in natural disasters, such as the Great Hanshin Earthquake that hit the city of Kobe in 1995.
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