No. 4, August 2007 News

Numsa EditorialElect a strong leader to confront capital

We have just emerged from a very successful Numsa Central Committee (CC) which deliberated on a range of matters pertinent to the existence of a progressive trade union such as Numsa. We considered the following matters and arrived at the following decisions:

Our position as a Union with regards to whether we should field names for the forthcoming ANC Elective Conference in December. The meeting having received inputs from our regions decided that this matter requires a further process of internal consultation with the 216 000 members of the Union. The meeting also acknowledged that if it is handled in a manner where the names of individuals become the priority rather than the substance and the challenges of the ANC and the country as a whole, this could become divisive in the union and could create tensions and divisions. It was therefore agreed that towards the Cosatu CC in September, the National Office Bearers and the Education Unit will develop a set of principles and guidelines derived from the Cosatu resolutions on this matter, and these will be circulated to regions to assist in the course of this discussion. The meeting cautioned that whatever we do should be in the best interests of unity in the labour movement and the Alliance partners in general.

Collective Bargaining The meeting welcomed and endorsed the Agreement reached with employers in the engineering sector recently. It said that this was unprecedented in collective bargaining and that no sectors in the economy have thus far reached such a ground-breaking agreement on wages, labour brokers and other matters to improve conditions of employment. It was also noted that employers such as in the former Bantustans will apply for exemptions from the provisions of the agreement and this should be rejected. A campaign will be launched throughout the country and in particular in the Eastern Free State with stickers rejecting exemptions. The meeting also received a report on the strike in the Tyre Sector and it was agreed that we should work towards solidarity action. With regards to Auto, Motor Sector, Eskom and House Agreements, the meeting noted the reports on negotiations. With regards to the Motor Sector, it was agreed that all regions will mobilize members for a possibility of a strike action as a prelude to bigger industrial action in September.

Shopstewards Elections – Elect a strong leader to confront capitalThe CC agreed that elections will commence on September 1 and be scheduled for completion at the end of January 2008. In February of the same year, all regions will convene elective Regional Congresses. The slogan, “˜elect a strong leader to confront capital’ was endorsed as a platform to inform the caliber of leaders that should stand for elections. It was once again emphasised that these elections must consider seriously the nomination of women as leaders.

Finances and administration The meeting received a financial report on the performance of the union in the 1st five months of the year. It applauded the role played by regions in operating within budget. It was also registered that we were doing very well in the collection of subscriptions and our national financial situation was improving.

Doves The CEO of the Numsa Investment Company, Tony Kgobe tabled a report that the Doves Board has now agreed to provide to a member/spouse, a cash payment of R2 000 in the event that both do not opt for the service. For the children, an amount of R500 will be the payment. This new deal will become applicable once the members have signed forms to avoid fraudulent claims. Look in the NIC insert in this Numsa News for a project plan indicating the commencement of this process and its finalisation.

Socio-economic issues The meeting agreed that Cde Woody Aron, the current REO from KZN will now become a National Researcher dealing with Auto, Tyre and Rubber and Engineering. This will assist in reducing the workload in the Department. It was further agreed that we will convene a National Workshop in October to consider our role as a union in the “˜Proudly South African Campaign’ and other matters related to Industrial Policy.

We emerged in this meeting committed to building a strong union capable of “˜confronting the logic of capital in the workplace, in sectors and industry’; a union that will continue to play its role in building the Federation (Cosatu) and in this process strengthen the Alliance.

At an international level, we also registered the successful bilateral meeting we had with IG Metall and the role we continue to play in assisting our brothers and sisters on the continent. At the end of November, a delegation composed of the NOBs and the International Committee will participate in the IMF CC taking place in Brazil, Salvador.

The struggle for a better world continues!Silumko Nondwangu, general secretary

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