Dear Numsa NewsThe Education Indaba commissioned the research unit to conduct a study on the “new worker” who comes from the technikon or university and joins the workplace for the first time. The same challenge faces us if we are to recruit white collar workers. We must give content to the nature and character of these employees, his/her needs and expectations within the workplace, workplace challenges s/he is faced with and their modus operandi (environment and period) including their political consciousness.Commonalities between these two groups of employees are amongst others, * more benefit orientated (not only after death but while still alive)* less meetings to allow leisure time* no strikes so that they can pay their bonds* fancy and expensive cars.Simon Tladi, regional secretary, Western Transvaal region

Dear Numsa NewsI would like to share some of the problems I have seen, mostly at the refineries of the country.We have members that are organised at these refineries, the exploitation that is taking place is very bad especially of black workers. Workers employed by refineries are organised by Ceppwawu and most of the contractors that work there are organised by other unions. The biggest problem is that when contractors are exploited, then there is no-one to help them.No words can describe the exploitation these workers suffer, a big slice of which comes from black economic empowerment where blacks exploit other blacks in the interests of their employers.I will be very happy to hear some comments from other regions. It is tiring to see this problem where refineries are the island of this dirty practice. Can anyone help, we are drowning in the sea of exploitation.Concerned employee of the refineriesMoses Mbasa, Isipingo localDear Numsa NewsThanks to all the writers who gave us all the details about what happened at the Workers’ Parliament in September.I have a concern about the issue of elections of leaders of the federation and the worst part is what happened in our union (Numsa) because of our members defying the decision of the organisation.None of the writers said anything about the defiance. I will be happy to see or hear the organisation saying something about the embarrassment caused during the Cosatu National Congress and the decision taken by the organisation against the members of the regions of Numsa concerning the matter.Moses Mbasa, Isipingo local

Dear cde MbasaThis is a matter that can be attended to by the forthcoming Numsa Central Committee in December. It is not for the national office bearers (NOBs) to decide but for regions coming to the meeting to reflect and tell the meeting what they think should be the course of action. This is a worker controlled organisation and it’s only workers through their delegates that should decide. You are free in any event to advise us as NOBs.Thanks for your concerns.regardsS Nondwangu, general secretary

Dear Numsa NewsI would like to highlight a few things that Numsa should consider before it is too late. The issue is around white collar workers. When it comes to recruitment, I thought that issue would be discussed in the Congress. 50+1, we will never get that number. I think Numsa should declare a dispute on the grounds of discrimination if those people are not covered by Seifsa. I think there is room for non-scheduled workers at the Bargaining Council where Numsa can discuss or negotiate for them.We recruited those people but when it comes to an increment they were left behind. To just represent them when they have a disciplinary hearing is not enough. Because productivity bargaining is for scheduled workers but does not include non-scheduled workers, it means that even if the members can be promoted, they will lose the benefits. As long as we don’t have 50+1 it means we must forget about the benefits unless there are benefits that we do not know.I think the officials should visit the offices in the companies to recruit so that they can answer those questions that will go direct to them.The critical issue that needs to be addressed is the poor service in general. The slogan that says that ‘an injury to one is an injury to all’ needs to be visited. If Saccawu can solve the issue of casualisation I think before we intervene I think we should understand the Saccawu constitution. We discovered that other companies have casuals that have 5, 15 and 18 years service but the affiliate is there.From Numsa I think the comrades should be trained so that they can be able to give counselling to the comrades who don’t want to lead workers properly. At the end of the day workers will lose jobs if we don’t follow the procedure even to consult the office. I want to appeal to shop stewards to read and understand company policy, the main agreement, the LRA so that they can fight without informing the office of what needs to be corrected.Lastly shop stewards should attend Cosatu locals to assist the community and be part of all the activities locally. Mike Mazibuko, Kempton Park local