This year Numsa’s aim is to integrate recruitment campaigns into collective bargaining processes.
This is the year of negotiations in the motor, auto and tyre sectors. Workers’ unity will be tested by employers who are hell-bent on destroying collective bargaining, as we have witnessed in the plastics sector.
This is the year during which unity among workers and organisational strength will be needed more than ever, when the importance of our organisation must be realised and the union must be defended.
It is a year when each and every worker, in particular those employed in the motor sector, must go all out to recruit unorganised workers into the union. It is a year when officials of Numsa and other affiliates must recruit workers into Cosatu to defend centralised bargaining.
It is clear that this year employers are going to resist the extension of agreements to non-parties, particularly where we are numerically weak. It is, therefore, important to start now and recruit each and every worker in the motor sector into our union in order to defeat the employers.
It should be noted that non-members may not get an increase if the employers reject the Minister of Labour’s extension of the agreement to them. We call on all unorganised workers to visit our offices and join the union to protect centralised bargaining.
Every member, shop steward, activist and staff member must go all out to recruit unorganised workers into our union in 2013.
Preparing for bargaining
Numsa calls on all regions to strictly adhere to the timeline in the Ear to the Ground Campaign. Call those general meetings, workers’ indabas and shop stewards’ councils to debate and compile the demands and submit them to the Organising campaigns and collective bargaining (OCCB) head in time to prepare for a National Bargaining Conference.
Let’s continue to mobilise our members so that they remain combat-ready to take on capital should the need arise. Let’s avoid last-minute mobilisation, as that does not build our organisation.
Negotiations and organising should take place at the same time. Let’s make sure that during the bargaining process members are taken on board and shop stewards are mandated on the issues. Let’s avoid pointing fingers – instead, let’s all be part of the processes and solutions of our organisation.
Campaign against Eskom electricity hikes
We are happy to inform our members and society that all our nine regions have fully participated in this campaign. It was not an easy campaign, considering that the majority of our members and leaders had just returned from the festive season and immediately had to engage in very serious work for the union.
We applaud everybody who participated physically and spiritually, particularly our leaders who ran from province to province to make sure that the Numsa’s submission went through with a view to stopping the National Electricity Regulator (Nersa) from granting Eskom a 16% tariff hike.
Preparation of May Day
May Day this year falls on a Wednesday, unlike the previous May Day, which was linked to April 27. Take note that this year’s May Day falls in the middle of the week and workers must come out in numbers to attend and celebrate it.
We call on our regions to start now and prepare for the event, with the Numsa Youth Forum taking centre stage in leading the mobilisation for a successful May Day.
George Chosane is Numsa’s national organising and campaigns coordinator.