Dear Numsa NewsI am a proud member of a revolutionary, militant, democratic and vibrant Numsa. Sadly we are turning this union into an ordinary metalworkers trade union. The reason in my opinion is due to but not limited to the impact of globalism/ imperialism.The dominance of the Transnational companies in our local that use their power to set one supplier against another when they bid for the same contract. This results in companies that supply them to unfairly cut their costs to the bone and that results in retrenchments, outsourcing and downgrading of workers’ benefits. This scenario leads to the lowest paying employer getting the contract. The other challenge that we face is the watering down of the gains that we have fought for like changes in the hours of work. This happens across all our sectors and demoralises the working class.
What should we do?What needs to be done is to organise campaigns and marches to the imperialistic Transnational companies. We should also organise to name and shame them in the press. We should also strengthen our collective agreements across the sectors in order to deal with the weaknesses or loopholes that exist in them. We should also involve other affiliates from Cosatu to help with solidarity. For us to be able to achieve this, we have to display a high level of unity from plant to national level. We should establish a relief fund. This will help when our members are in distress. Eg offer relief when a company is suddenly liquidated. Give food parcels in a prolonged industrial legal action. Cases of intervention will be decided on merit by a collective at local level. Funding can be done by for instance, an increase in subs by half a percent or a once off deduction from Numsa members. This suggestion has been informed by a number of instances where we have lost plant struggles that we were not supposed to lose.It is the duty of all revolutionaries to advance the working class struggle wherever they are. One of the cornerstones of those struggles is to defeat capitalist domination and oppression and replace it with a socialist system that is fair to all those that contribute to production processes. That is the only way we can reward fallen trade unionists like Vuyisile Mini and Dr Neil Aggett to mention but a few who were killed by the apartheid regime.That is why the centuries old slogan: “Workers of the World unite you have nothing to lose but your chains” is still relevant today. In this case we can modify it to “Metalworkers of South Africa unite..”
Mlungisi Tikolo, Rosslyn local
Dear Numsa NewsI would like to bring the following to your attention for things that we as a union need to focus on. We must monitor how many shop stewards are attending Cosatu locals. Those shop stewards if they are known by Numsa locals, region and head office that will make the shop stewards more active than before. I also appeal to Numsa that our good service to the members can bring more members to the union. My worry is I never see shop stewards talking about workers’ rights on Metro rail to those who travel by train. You will find various churches preaching the word of God. I am not against that but I know even those who are listening to the word of God some of them they are going to work to attend a disciplinary hearing others are dismissed unfairly, but I suggest let us use other coaches where we can be known to educate our people about the benefits that they must fight for and give them tips.I want to share this information with you. I was travelling by train addressing the workers. One comrade approached me about their problem at their company called Aquaries at Boksburg. That company was using 12 foreigners as cheap labour. The other company called Ceres at Wadeville was bought by this company but not the workers. I wrote a strong letter to the owner for clarity on whether the company is retrenching or was a going concern. We also wanted to know who was consulted in the process and who represented the workers. After they received the letter, they started engaging with those who bought them. The company called all the workers and told them about the letter. The director wanted to know who told Mike about the internal problem. But he told them that everybody will be moved to the new company. On the issue of foreigners, we wrote a letter to the department of home affairs in Pretoria. When the inspectors came unexpectedly, two of their foreigners left their IDs and payslips. That is the proof that we have that we are still busy with that problem. Comrades – that is the challenge to all shop stewards.Mike MazibukoBaldwins SteelSprings Local
Dear Numsa NewsI would like to add my concern about Pembro Industrial in Babelegi.There are many workers in Pembro but no-one has joined the union. Why? Because they have been influenced by their boss at the factory.Pembro is under engineering and we as Numsa local shop stewards of Babelegi have been trying to recruit them but they tell us they have got enough money. (They get loans to build houses, buy cars and have enough money to pay school fees for their children at school, they get it from their boss.)They forget about their future. They agree easily to all the things that their boss says to them.The factory deducts the UIF from their wages but they don’t know where they take it to. Numsa regional office, please try to bend organisers to go to Pembro to go and negotiate with their boss so they can get their rights.Amandla!Anonymous