Elections: Elections on the go

In most regions, shop steward elections are now on the go and local offices have a hard task ahead of them to complete all elections by the end of November, the target date set by the Union.But hopefully the reward of the money equivalent of a sheep to the first locals (small, medium and large categories) that complete elections and submit all their information on shop stewards, will provide a much needed boost to locals. Numsa’s current shop steward elections champion for large locals, Johannesburg South Local, is working hard to be the victor again.Even so, the local has worked out that with more than 100 companies, even if it runs at least two elections per day over the next few months, it will miss the end of November deadline. It will have to finish off early in January.Despite this, the local’s team of local organiser, Sizwe Dlamini, dismissed shop stewards Abel Mthombeni and Vika Nkabinde, administrator Lerato Mabaso, and full-time shop steward Patrick Rambau are determined to win the crown again.Pylon Engineering At shop steward elections in one of their small companies, Pylon Engineering in Steeledale, Dlamini and Mthombeni take charge.Explaining the procedure to workers during their lunch-time, they call for nominations from the almost 30-strong crowd. Not all members are here. Some prefer to eat their lunch outside away from the important task of choosing their leaders for the next four years.With their products towering above them, workers nominate shop steward incumbent Freddie Mhlawula.More nominations follow with only one worker declining to stand for the position. They are left with three nominations for three positions – two shop stewards and one alternate. All that is left is to decide who is the chief shop steward, the second shop steward and the alternate. Workers vote by show of hands. The votes are tallied and the shop stewards confirmed.The process complete, Dlamini reminds shop stewards of their role and advises workers to keep their shop stewards working hard.Dlamini and Mthombeni pack up their election pamphlets, stickers, their posters and head for the next factory to confirm the time for the next election.West RandAcross the region in West Rand local, Numsa’s deputy general secretary, Bheki Magagula has some good advice for Eskom workers when he addresses them at their shop steward elections on the West Rand.”Don’t elect someone like a wheelbarrow who must be pushed around. You need a pro-active person who will sit on all the structures,” says Magagula.”You are a shop steward for 24 hours until your time is over,” he reminds potential shop stewards.Nominations proceed followed by elections.And across the country, the same process is repeated again and again in more than 7500 Numsa-organised companies!