NUMSA National Bargaining Conference Statement
4 – 5 April 2011
We, Metalworkers delegates, representing more than 260 000 members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) including members in more than 15 000 metals engineering companies, members in all iron and steel manufacturing houses and more than 6 000 members at ESKOM, convened in NUMSA’s National Bargaining Conference (NBC) from 4 – 5 April 2011 at Vincent Mabuyakhulu Conference Centre, Johannesburg.
The Numsa NBC convened under the strategic theme that would guide our approach to collective bargaining and the socio-economic problems confronting the working class: decent work unites; exploitation divides; smash capitalism!
We will this year be engaged in collective bargaining with employers from the metals engineering industry, iron and steel manufacturing houses and ESKOM. The main objective of our NBC is to consolidate core, cross-cutting and sector-specific demands from members.
This is vital in a year voters are going to the polls, following a 2009-10 jobs massacre in which 1.17 million workers lost their livelihoods which in turn threw nearly six million more South Africans into poverty. It is vital for workers to make up the lost ground, because of the broader socio-economic context in which our NBC is taking place:
A deepening crisis of global capitalism with extreme levels of economic, social and political uncertainty, and even once-prosperous European countries (Ireland, Portugal, Greece) facing bankruptcy and default, and others (Spain, Italy, Belgium, Austria) in profound debt crisis.
A concerted attack on the livelihoods of workers and the poor across the world, and declining shares of labour’s income (compared to capitalist profits) within the national income with executive pay reaching sky-rocketing levels.
Deepening inequalities within and between all the world’s economies and societies. Worsening inequality within our own society, especially on racial and gender grounds, with no prospect of improvement in sight.
Numsa Press Release