News from the top!Numsa's Central Committee met in December 2007, just a week before the ANC's Polokwane Conference. It discussed the Polokwane Conference and assessed the Union's achievements in 2007.
On Polokwane and beyond – "The world does not begin and end at Polokwane"1.
We re-affirm the decisions of the Cosatu September Central Committee not to nominate but to influence the ANC branch nominations in their due and democratic process, and to consider the names that Cosatu has decided upon in its regular CEC.
We will do this respecting the democratic processes of the ANC branches, regions and Provinces, that entitle the ANC members to decide who they nominate. We will influence this process as Cosatu activists in our right as ANC activists.
We hold the view that the struggle in this second decade of democracy must primarily benefit the working class and the poor in general.2.
As metalworkers we will ensure that we retain and defend the independence, unity of the trade union movement from any undue influence on these positions.
We recognize that the decisions we take, and which we have taken in the Cosatu September CC impose certain challenges on the unity and cohesion of Cosatu and affiliates, and we re-affirm and commit ourselves to work towards ensuring that Numsa in particular, remains a united, solid voice of metalworkers.
That no member or leader at whatever level, would feel that they do not belong, or unable to express a view on any matter in the organization. We do not represent any political blocks, but a united entity of metalworkers.3.
The acid test for the ANC, the SACP and Cosatu is to provide leadership on the intra-alliance tensions that have characterized our road map to Polokwane. 4.
Our call to Numsa, Cosatu and its affiliated unions is unity for the sake of workers; the call to the SACP as a revolutionary formation of the working class, is to provide overarching theoretical leadership in all of these formations.
And to the ANC, to provide us with unity within the ranks of the national liberation movement in this period. And to give us a compass to liberate our people and the rest of the developing world.5.
We will call upon the Alliance components – the ANC, the SACP/Cosatu and other formations of the progressive liberation movement – that differences on leadership and other policy matters towards Limpopo, should be expressed through our various structures that exist within the Alliance.
No working class cause is served in the beauty contest running through the commercial and bourgeois media and other forums. We would not, as metalworkers, fall into this trap of American style politics. 6.
We will also demand as metalworkers, that the protocols of Alliance relations as decided upon in Ekurhuleni 1 and 2 are respected, and the Secretariat of the Alliance, the ANC Secretary General and his counterparts in the SACP and Cosatu, convene an urgent meeting to restore order and political authority of the Alliance on these matters. 7.
It is only the ANC and we think it would rise to the occasion to provide decisive leadership on these complex matters of the transition.
We say to our leadership, the world does not begin and end in Limpopo. South Africans, the rest of the continent, and the developing world, call for your leadership.
Our 2008 Theme – "Deepening and defending the unity of the working class, consolidating gains made by the working class in the 21st century"
Priorities for the first quarter
One-day session linked to NEC to review outcomes of ANC December conference
Regions to develop strategic plans in line with plans presented and adopted by CC
By end March
Locals to elect new local office bearers
By end February/ March
Convene regional congresses and elect regional leadership
By end March
Convene NOB strategic planning session to review 4-year master plan and to work on draft of secretariat report for the Numsa national congress in October
Evaluating our 2007 theme – "Confronting the logic of capital through collective bargaining"The CC noted that greater achievements were made in improving conditions of employment for metalworkers.
More work needs to be done to communicate our achievements through bargaining representatives, sector coordinators and local and union structures.
We should attend to the following internal challenges in different sectors:Â· Motor IndustryMore work must be done to build and recruit members to Numsa.
The victory and wage increases granted to forecourt attendants present an opportunity to build the organisation. We should go back to regions and locals and recruit members in dealerships and body repair shops.
It is through a strong and formidable organisation that we can improve conditions of employment in the motor industry.
Organisers and regions should utilize the recent motor agreement to recruit. We will further discuss, towards National Congress next year, the location of components. Regions will elaborate on the CC discussion in this regard.
Â· Auto/Tyre and Rubber IndustryWe noted the achievements we have made in this bargaining round in both sectors:- the resilience and the successful strike in the Tyre and Rubber Sector – major gains made in the Auto Sector without having to resort to strike action.
We also acknowledged that as we proceed, new issues and challenges emerge. We should attend to issues of reclaiming our organisational space in both sectors through regular interaction with members.
Early next year we will convene a workshop to discuss and develop appropriate organisational responses to the dumping of illegal tyres, how we sustain existing jobs in the tyre and rubber sector, deal with the MIDP, and locate our manufacturing sector in the global environment.
Â· Engineering and House Agreements We noted that our members have made great strides through collective bargaining and the agreements that we have concluded in all these sectors.
We must move with speed with regard to the outstanding issues. In this regard, we should prioritise the new grading structure, employee share ownership schemes (ESOPS) andbroad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) as well as the integration of House Agreements into the Main Agreement.
Â· Other Units The meeting agreed on the proposals tabled by the Research Unit, to continue to provide support through research work on collective bargaining and macro-economic issues. The Education Unit will support National Congress processes through policy workshops and the induction of newly elected S/S.
Â· GenderGender work and activities will be mainstreamed in the lead up towards the National Congress.
Â· Administration and Finances We noted the progress we are making in the prudent management and the utilization of union resources.
This is evident in properties that the Union has acquired in all regions, the turn-around in our finances and the investments we have made.