Letter from the President

Apologies for the absence of the letter from the President in the last edition of Numsa News. I would like to welcome new members of Numsa who have joined during the recruitment month.

I urge our officials to ensure that service is rendered to these members so that they will remain Numsa members.

These members must know that local office bearers, regional office bearers and ultimately national office bearers will always be available to help them with challenges that they might have as new members of this giant metalworkers union.

I would like to extend the appreciation of the union to recruitment brigades who have gone out of their way to recruit new members during the recruitment month.

Shopstewards are at the coal face of service delivery and they must strive to learn everyday about our union in order to service members and stop the dependence on organizers on all issues.

New staff We have employed new staff members in the head office, the main engine of the union. I would like to welcome them to this family of metalworkers and wish them good luck for their three months evaluation by the relevant structures.

Castro Ngobese, spokespersonMpho Mamabolo, payroll administratorNokufa Zengele, cleanerMelanie Roy, bookkeeper (she has moved across from membership administration).Greetings and welcome also to those comrades that have joined our staff in the different regions of Numsa.

Central CommitteeThe union held its second Central Committee in July 2009 since the 8th Congress in October 2008. This Central Committee took place after a successful Mini Congress which completed the work of the 8th National Congress.

This Congress proved that this is a very democratic union. Delegates engaged on the future direction without fear or favour, and this must be encouraged at all levels of the union. The issue of the full time shop steward elections became a very important discussion in the Congress.

The next Central Committee in December 2009 will finalise this matter after receiving different experiences of regions on this matter.The Mini National Congress was addressed by leaders of the Alliance.

The Congress gave a clear mandate to Numsa leaders to defend jobs, call for an industrial strategy and fight for the banning of labour brokers. It is for this reason that I want to give a snapshot of what your leaders have been busy with.

What have we done?We have worked tirelessly to defend jobs; we have managed to secure R2.4 billion for the re-skilling of workers whilst remaining on the payroll of their companies. One will ask, is this enough?

And the answer is obviously no!Even though it is not enough, I urge comrades to use this money to re-skill themselves so that when the economy recovers, we will have a better skilled workforce ready to take advantage of the upturn.

The other task teams in Nedlac are concluding their discussions on social interventions, distressed companies and the financing mechanisms by the developmental finance institutions etc.

The Portfolio Committee on Labour held public hearings in parliament on the future of labour brokers after the Department of Labour had introduced the document at the level of Nedlac.

In line with the ANC Manifesto, the Department of Labour is proposing tighter regulation of Labour Brokers. Cosatu and all its affiliates have made submissions to parliament that call for the banning and outlawing of this practice of “human trafficking”.

In the submission we made on your behalf, we said you will not allow anything or anyone to stand in your path as you ensure that labour brokers are banned.

We invited the committee to visit you in your workplaces so that you may add the practical experiences of the brutality of these “slave traders” called labour brokers.

Watch this space for the next action! I must use this opportunity to thank the Portfolio Committee on Labour for the warm welcome that we received.

The next round of public hearings will take place at Welkom, Klerksdorp, Germiston and Pietermaritzburg in the week beginning October 5. If you are employed by a labour broker and live near, find out details of dates and times from your Numsa office.

Numsa is supporting the Cosatu congress resolution to demonstrate on October 7 in support of an internaitonal campaign to highlight 'precarious work' such as that experienced by casual workers and those employed by labour brokers.

In celebration of Mandela Day, some comrades from Head Office and myself took blankets and second hand clothes to the Methodist Church.

This church provides a home to more than 3000 homeless people and refugees. Thanks to those comrades who donated the clothes. Your gifts were warmly received.

100 daysOne hundred days has passed since the inauguration of President Zuma. Without falling into the trap of the Americanization of our politics, it would be nice to hear the views of metalworkers on the pages of this publication.

From the leadership level, we sense some urgency from state departments when we engage with them but we do not know if this urgency is escalated to the local government level where it matters the most.

Local government elections are taking place in 2011 and we resolved in the Mini National Congress to ensure a clean sweep for the ANC. The opposition parties are discussing their counter-strategy. Are you discussing our strategy for the clean sweep?

Cosatu CongressFrom 21 to 24 September 2009, the parliament of South African workers was in session with close to 3 000 delegates representing Cosatu’s affiliates.

Three years ago around the same time, internal matters were bandied about in the media. This time, sense has prevailed in our unions that internal matters are internal matters.

This Congress will also honour Comrade Violet Seboni, our deputy President who died on the eve of 22 April 2009 elections. It will launch a trust named after her that will take care of the needs of Cosatu leader’s children in the event that there is a need.

This is long overdue and must be applauded.Aluta continua comrades! Numsa will always continue to strive for better living conditions of the members and the working class at large. Numsa can never be a yellow union.

As we prepare for 2011 local government elections and witnessing the community protests left, right and centre; metalworkers must stand up and be counted for the realization of Polokwane Resolutions and a push for socialism in our lifetime.

AsikhulumeCedric GinaNumsa President

PS – you can write to me c/o Numsa, PO Box 260483, Excom 2023, fax to 011 834 4320 or e-mail to sabelo.gina@gmail.com


Numsa News