Shop Steward Elections

Shop steward elections – Numsa’s power comes from its base!The siren goes, the incumbent shop steward at Rivim Engineering in Wynberg, Jack Mamabolo, calls workers to the meeting. About 20 Numsa members gather in the dark lawnmower making workshop. Piles of sheet metal become temporary benches for some, the rest stand. The giant machines stand as the only witnesses to this democratic event. “Numsa is a democratic organisation,” Numsa organiser Royal Chaane tells the workers “and Numsa’s constitution says that every four years workers must vote again for their representatives. You can elect two shop stewards for your workplace.”

Choose wisely!He advises workers to choose wisely. But he also warns workers that they have a responsibility to make it easy for their shop steward. “Don’t drink at lunch-time and don’t come back to work after lunch drunk. Numsa can’t defend you for doing that!” He warns that if workers do this and the shop steward is forced to take up this issue, management would not respect Numsa. And when Numsa members want to fight real issues that affect them all, the employer will not take them seriously. He asks for nominations. One hand goes up – “Jack Mamabolo”, says one of the three women members. “Any seconder for Mamabolo?” Other hands rise up. Mamabolo is seconded. “Any more nominations?” he asks. Another hand is raised. “Jeffrey Moshokoa”. “Anyone want to second the nomination?” More hands are raised. “We have two nominations. Any more?” There is silence. No hands are raised. There is no need to vote. “Jack Mamabolo and Jeffrey Moshokoa are your new shop stewards,” announces Chaane. The meeting is over, “next time we want to see some of you standing,” Chaane says to the three women. They smile and laugh!

Vote to build and strengthen NumsaAnother shop steward election is over. It is just a small factory with few members. But this election is no less important than elections in Numsa’s giant factories like Volkswagen. Without these elections Numsa would be like a country that declares that its leaders will now lead forever. And that would destroy the power of Numsa. It would destroy its ability to take up your demands. It would destroy its ability to take up your case if you are unfairly dismissed. If you haven’t elected new shop stewards for the next four years, contact your nearest Numsa office NOW! Your future and the future of the working class depends on the strength of you and your shop stewards at your workplace.

Isexwayiso! Ikusasa lakho kanye nekusasa labasebenzi abasemazineni aphansi lisengcupheni!Uma beningakawavoteli amagosa enu amasha azoba semahhovisi iminyaka emine ezayo, kumele nithintane nehhovisi lenu le-Numsa eliseduzane nani ngokushesha okunokwenzeka. Kufanele lonke ukhetho luphele ekupheleni kukaJanuwari 2008. I-Numsa enamandla engakwazi ukulwela izimfuno zenu incike ekutheni nina kanye namagosa enu ninamandla kangakanani ezindaweni zenu zokusebenza.

Waarskuwing! Jou toekoms en die toekoms van die werkersklas is op die spel!As jy nog nie vir jou nuwe vloerbeamptes – wat vir die volgende vier jaar aangewys word – gestem het nie, moet jy asseblief jou naaste Numsa-kantoor so gou moontlik skakel. Alle verkiesings moet teen die einde van Januarie 2008 afgehandel wees. “˜n Sterk Numsa wat vir jou eise kan veg hang af van hoe sterk jy en jou vloerbeamptes by die werk is.

Temoso! Hona ho mabapi le bokamoso ba hao le bokamoso ba basebetsi bohle!Haebe ha o eso voutele di-shop steward tsa lona tse ntjha tse tla kena ofising bakeng sa dilemo tse ne tse tlang, moo o lokela ho iteanya le ba ofisi ya Numsa e haufi le wena ka potlako ka moo o ka kgonang. Dikgetho tsohle di lokelwa ho phethwa mafelong a Pherekgong 2008. Numsa e matla e ka lwanelang ditseko tsa lona e itshetlehile hodima hore di-shop steward tsa lona di matla ha kae mosebetsing wa lona.

Advice for members – how to keep your shop steward in check!”Support your shop stewards, guide them, tell them what you want,” was the advice of Numsa local organiser, Bheki Mzimela, himself an ex-shop steward, to workers electing shop stewards at West Rand workplaces – Universal Clips and KMC Engineering. And to shop stewards he had this advice: “Retrench your girlfriends, keep just your wife. We want to see you at local meetings every Thursday and Saturday!” “And beware – if you do anything wrong, you will become a SOS – a sell-out shop steward!” Read these duties from the Numsa bible, the Numsa constitution, so that you can monitor whether your shops steward are doing their jobs.* negotiate agreements with employers about working conditions mandated to do so by members in the workplace. Such agreements may only be concluded and signed after approval by the members and the regional secretary.* maintain order and harmony amongst the members in their workplace;* recruit members;* settle disputes in their workplace;* report regularly to their Local Shop Stewards Council on any dispute or any grievances of members;* discuss decisions and policies of the Union to members in their workplace;* take up all legitimate complaints of members;* call Factory General Meetings at least once per month.

Iseluleko kumalungu – amagosa enu niwagcina kanjani esemgqeni! Ibhayibheli le-Numsa, umthethisisekelo we-Numsa, usho kanje ngamandla kanye nemisebenzi yamagosa enu endaweni yokusebenza. Igosa kufanele * Lixoxisane ngezivumelwano nabaqashi ngezimo zokusebenza, ligunyazwe ukuthi lenze kanjalo ngamalungu endaweni yokusebenza. Lezi zivumelwano zingaphethwa futhi zisayinwe kuphela emva kokuba zivunywe amalungu kanye nonobhala wendawo * ligcine umthetho kanye nokuzwana phakathi kwamalungu endaweni yabo yokusebenzela; * lifune amalungu azojoyina; * lixazulule izimpikiswano endaweni yabo yokusebenzela; * libike njalo eMkhandlwini Wamagosa Asekhaya ngananoma iyiphi impikiswano noma isikhalazo samalungu; * lixoxe ngezinqumo kanye nezinqubomgomo zeNyunyana namalungu ezindaweni zawo zokusebenzela; * ukubheka zonke izikhalazo zamalungu ezisemthethweni ; * libize Imihlangano Ejwayelekile Efektri okungenani kanye ngenyanga.

Advies aan lede – hoe om jou vloerbeampte onder beheer te hou! Dí­t is wat Numsa se bybel, die Numsa-grondwet, omtrent die magte en pligte van jou vloerbeamptes by jou werk síª. Die vloerbeampte moet * wanneer hulle so “˜n mandaat van die werkers by die werkplek kry, ooreenkomste omtrent werksomstandighede met werkgewers onderhandel. Sulke ooreenkomste mag slegs aangegaan en onderteken word nadat die werkers en die streeksekretaris dit goedgekeur het. * orde en harmonie tussen die lede by hulle werkplek handhaaf; * lede werf; * dispute by die werk oplos; * gereeld aan hulle Plaaslike Vloerbeampteraad verslag gee omtrent enige dispuut of enige grief by enige van die lede; * die Vakbond se beluite en beleid met lede by hulle werkplek bespreek; * alle legitieme klagtes van werkers hanteer; * ten minste een keer per maand Fabriek-Algemene Vergaderings belíª.

Dikeletso bakeng sa ditho – ka moo le ka lekolang di-shop steward tsa lona! Ke sena seo tokomane ya bohlokwa ya Numsa, e leng molao wa motheo wa Numsa, o se bolelang ka matla le mesebetsi ya di-shop steward tsa lona moo le sebetsang. Di-shop steward di lokela * ho rerisana ka ditumellano le boramesebetsi mabapi le maemo a tshebetso, me hona ba ho etsa ba ronngwe ke ditho sebakeng sa mosebetsi. Ditumellano tse jwalo di ka phethwa le ho saenwa feela ka mora ho ananelwa ke ditho le mongodi wa lebatowa. * ho boloka tshebedisano e tsamayang hantle haholo le kopano mahareng a ditho mosebetsing wa tsona; * ho thaotha ditho; * ho rarolla dingangisano mosebetsing wa tsona; * ho tlalehela Local Shop Stewards Council ya bona kgafetsa ka dingangisano kapa ditsekisano dife kapa dife tsa ditho; * ho buisana ka diqeto le maano a Yunione le ditho tsa moo ba sebetsang teng; * ho ka ditletlebo tse utlwahalang tsa ditho; * ho bitsa Dikopano tse Akaretsang tsa Feketheri bonyane hang ka kgwedi.

What shop stewards say:”I’m confident and proud to be elected as a shop steward. I’m committed in everything that I do – at work and everywhere – I think that’s why my co-workers decided to elect me again. If I can be elected to one of the local structures, I can change the way the local sub-structures are working by addressing and attending workers’ problems immediately.” Vincent Tsotetsi from ACA/Laco Parts, Johanesburg Central Local. “I like to be a shop steward because I learn a lot. I help workers to know their rights including myself. Our local sub-structures are running very well. I would like to join one of them like Health and Safety, Local education committee or the dispute committee.” Enoch Gumede, Johannesburg Central Local. “Now that I have been re-elected, I will meet with all the workers and ask them what problems they have. We tried organising training for some of them like ABET but it didn’t work well. I want to try and see if we can improve this.” Jack MamaboloRivim Engineering, Johannesburg North local.

The biggest threat to Numsa’s power – apathetic members!…and what to do about itThe process of shop stewards elections is moving very slowly as most of the companies do not hold general meetings. When they are informed of shop steward elections they start asking about factory problems. There is not much commitment from the workers to the union. They regard the union as their legal instrument and not a worker controlled entity. Most shop stewards are being re-elected because there is no-one who is campaigning. Some are re-elected for the third term but they do not even know where the union office is nor who their local office bearers are! Attendance by shop stewards at local shop steward councils is also poor. The car dealer shop stewards are the worst in terms of attendance. They only want to be addressed about their specific problems at their establishment. They also want special treatment to get paid time off to attend the shop steward council. The better strategy is to form a group shop stewards council for companies like Unitrans, McCarthy Group, Barloworld Group, CMH. These should be formed per region and every group should have its office bearers accountable to the local.Royal ChaaneNumsa organiser and veteran of the Johannesburg North local

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