Naledi is Cosatu's research institute. Ayanda Billie spoke to Rob Rees about the Naledi project, “strengthening workers' rights and implementing social standards”.
The three year project is in its last year (2009).
The aim of the project is to:
* Research German multinational corporations (MNCs) in South Africa
* Assess their impact: economically and socially as well as their compliance with international standards
* Involve and train Numsa and Ceppwawu shop stewards and organisers including through exchange visits
* Develop ways to strengthen bargaining and international solidarity.
The project is concentrating on four sectors – metal, machinery, electronics and manufacturing companies and there are three core companies per sector.
“We are involving German companies because we have 500 German MNCs in South Africa,” says Rees. “Together they employ about 70 000 people.
They have a heavy presence in the auto sector. On average German firms have been in South Africa for over 20 years.”
Naledi is driving the project. Shop stewards and workers are helping to do the research. Naledi will then write a book.
Labour education institute, Ditsela will then teach the book, “all this with involvement of shop stewards and workers”, says Rees.
“Since we are working with German companies, we also have exchange programmes in the project.
Our criteria are that workers in the companies going on the exchange visits to Germany must be active in the project (their company report must be complete).
And there should be proper gender balance and those workers should be capable of reporting back.”
Rees stressed that common problems are “getting time off for people to attend meetings; sometimes comrades change flights and change delegates.
But nevertheless all the participants are keen and positive”.
Watch this space!
For more info about the Programme call:
Rob Rees @ 011 403 2122