Winning Letter

Dear Numsa NewsAny discussion on race relations hopefully furthers the cause of non racialism. I do, however, agree that there were and are different levels of discrimination. If we listed all possible categories of people, including gender and ethnicity, we would identify many different groups which could then be arranged on a ladder from the least to the most discriminated against.The difficulty is where on that ladder do you draw the line as to who needs more assistance to overcome our past and who does not. I believe the line should be drawn at the point where those who had a vote during the apartheid regime and those who did not. The discrimination against those who could not vote was not of their making, even if the old regime did favour some groups more than others. Maybe what needs to be looked at, is who is still disadvantaged. Inevitably it is those who remain unemployed with little or no resources and are locked into the cycle of poverty. At the bottom of this discrimination ladder sit rural black women and their families. The major problem with trying to classify people is that is what the apartheid regime did. It does not serve our best interests to reinvent race classification. The most viable solution to overcome discrimination is to uplift those who suffer the most, to put food on their table, provide them with access to healthcare, educate their children to an equitable standard to at least graduate level, provide support and subsidies to those who live off the land. Because if we do not, they will remain discriminated against.Greg StanleyToyota

Dear Numsa NewsYour story about Eve Gold Jewellery in Bloemfontein in the last Numsa News reminds me of an incident that happened at Federal Mogul (FM) in Durban in May 2004.On April 23 2004, there was a fight between the FM supervisor and a Numsa comrade. The comrade was suspended the same day but the supervisor was not. On April 24 when the Numsa comrades realised the presence of the supervisor and the absence of the comrade, they did not start work. Instead they demanded that FM management explain why only the comrade was suspended. The FM industrial relations manager arrived on the scene. He confirmed to the striking comrades that FM management was wrong by suspending the comrade only. He then called the company site security to escort the supervisor out of the premises. He also promised to keep the comrades informed of the case proceedings. In the absence of both the supervisor and the comrade, the comrades worked as normal up until May 6 when Numsa comrades noticed the same supervisor and realised the absence of the Numsa comrade. Comrades remembered what the IR manager had promised them. They again stopped work and demanded an explanation from management with regards to the absence of the Numsa comrade. On this day they demanded the involvement of the FM Director and senior Numsa officials. They made it clear to the Local as well as the regional Numsa officials that they were not commencing duty while the supervisor was still on site and they had not had an opportunity to raise their dissatisfaction to the directorate of FM especially the Chief Executive Officer. The FM management refused to co-operate. It ended up dismissing all the morning shift, ie 109 Numsa members. The evening shift also joined the strike. They were not prepared to let the dismissed comrades down for they were aware of management’s strategy to introduce the labour brokers. The Numsa officials were always telling the other comrades from the opposite shift to return to work and allow Numsa to deal with the dismissal issue for the morning shift. The matter went to conciliation and was referred to the Labour Court after so many misunderstandings between Numsa and its comrades. The pre-trial conference was set on June 7 2005 at the Numsa Regional offices, Durban. On June 27 2006, an out of court settlement meeting sat and FM management retained their settlement offer which was turned down long time ago because of the absence of the re-instatement.The FM-Chief Executive Officer on the date of dismissal resigned in May 2004.After the dismissal of the 109 Numsa members, the supervisor who fought with the Numsa comrade assaulted a fixed term contract employee and was issued with a Final Written Warning. Again the same supervisor was alleged to have insulted an operator. He was found guilty and dismissed on May 9 2006. It took FM Management two years to realise that Numsa members demand on May 6 was justifiable. The FM-IR Manager on the date of dismissal is now the FM-HR Manager.It took the jobs of 109 Numsa members for FM-Management to realise that they had the wrong people in the right positions.

Remain comrade…. Remain

May the spirit hide you,Strengthen you,Against the cadres Of the darkness.

May you be that, Sacrifice forever!May you be let aware notTo be dragooned intoA lethal spiritual automaton.

Let’s applaud your creatorFor good work.Obedience, gentleness and disciplineReally were ingredients,What a good recipe.

Guess who is that?That’s the brick (chair of Cosatu Uitenhage local) used to Lift up the height (building) of theCommunity hall wall (Cosatu).

Remain calm cde Stemele…Remain calm…

Kaya ka Yoko

To all Numsa News readersThis Numsa News has a special focus on Cosatu’s 9th National Congress. This means that we have had to exclude some regulars like the Dear Judy column. Don’t worry, she will be back next time to deal with all your problems.It also again includes the Numsa survey form – please take time to fill it in and send it to us. Deadline to submit your survey form so your survey can be entered into the competition is October 30.Also be sure to catch up on what Numsa’s Investment Company (NIC) is doing for you by reading their special insert.