Straight from their mouths:

“Worker rights are human rights”

The debate about the flexibility of labour law is nothing but a political objective of breaking the power of trade unions and their ability to influence what happens in the workplace and in society. They want the spirit of individualism to grow in the minds of working people – moving workers away from “an injury to one is an injury to all” principle.

Worker rights are human rights. Workers sell their labour and not their soul.

Workers should not be left to the mercy of the merciless wolves at the workplace.”

Minister of Labour, Membathisi Mdladlana

“Never be afraid to differ!”

We must never be afraid to differ, ideologically, politically and theoretically with any comrade.

Whenever we can, we must use all the opportunities available to us in the structures of the union. This is our democratic right in the union.

Mtutuzeli Tom, Numsa president

” Africa is ripe for a single revolutionary trade union movement!”

There have been better revolutionary times in the last 500 years or so of Africa ‘s slave, colonial, apartheid, neo-colonial and now neoliberal imperialist domination than now for all the workers in Africa to be united under the umbrella of a single revolutionary trade union movement.

Azwell Banda

“On slavery, racism and capitalism”

African slaves provided America and Europe with the free labour that gave impetus to the industrialisation of these continents.

During colonialism, Africa provided the essential raw materials for American and European industries.

Racism provided the necessary social, cultural and in some instances, such as here in South Africa during the apartheid days, religious, spiritual and full political cover for white capitalist exploitation and domination of Africa .

Racism, as Africa has experienced it, is a capitalist construction … to legitimise the extreme forms and content of capitalist exploitation of the labour of a particular type of groups of human beings.

Azwell Banda

Weak state of the African post independent trade union!

It is largely weak numerically, financially, organisationally, and devoid of any revolutionary fervour.

The weak consciously underdeveloped industrial base in Africa prevents the growth of strong industrial unions.

Many years of empty socialist political rhetoric and now neoliberalism have reduced it into a weak pale shadow of its former self.

…We African workers, of all races on the continent of Africa , have a common destiny and share a common historical mission to overthrow the capitalism which has kept us apart and in chains for more than 500 years, and replace it with socialism.

Azwell Banda