The United Automobile Workers (UAW) of the United States of America is hosting a senior delegation of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) – led by President Cedric Gina, during its 8-day working visit to US as part of deepening our long-standing and fraternal relations, and our joint campaign against Japanese owned car manufacturer, Nissan, affront attack and undermining of workers’ rights in its Mississippi plant in America.
The delegation left for the US last week Friday October 12, 2013 and it’s due back in the country on Saturday October 19, 2013.
“This visit is very symbolic given the immense contribution made by US’s anti-apartheid movement to our own struggle for national liberation, freedom and people’s power. Our own union (Numsa) is a proud product of solidarity and working class internationalism; it was our friends in the US’s civil and trade union movement that campaigned gallantly for the release of the then incarcerated founding General Secretary of Numsa, by the heinous apartheid regime, 26 years ago”, said Gina.
In terms of the visit, Numsa delegation will be part of the UAW’s planned global campaign to expose the violation of workers’ rights by Japanese’s car manufacturer – Nissan. Workers in impoverished Mississippi plant are being denied their basic and fundamental rights – to join a trade union, to negotiate for better wages and improved conditions of employment. The campaign is being supported by other like-minded trade union affiliates of the IndustriAll, a global federation, which Numsa is affiliated.
The delegation will also hold bilateral meetings with various progressive formations. "The UAW is very honored to have NUMSA with us in Mississippi and Tennessee. South African workers struggled under intensely difficult circumstances, they fought hard and won impressive social gains for workers and serve as an important example of how strong unions can build a more just society,” said UAW President Bob King.
“They are here to meet their fellow Nissan workers, to share ways in which they partner with Nissan, and to take back to South Africa the Nissan workers' struggle for a fair and free union election in the USA. The UAW and NUMSA have a long, strong relationship and we continue to support each other in our efforts to advance worker’ rights and protections. "
Numsa’s delegation to US:
• Cedric Gina, President
• Mphumzi Maqungo, National Treasurer
• Jacob Mashego, Shopsteward (Nissan)
• Witness Ndlovu, Shopsteward (Nissan)
• Nkululeko Beauchamp, Shopsteward (Nissan)
• Skhumbuzo Phakathi, International Affairs Officer
Numsa’s National Treasurer Mphumzi Maqungo said; “Our presence here should strengthen our friends and comrades of UAW in their just fight and struggle to be recognized as representatives of Nissan cheaply-paid and exploited workers in Mississippi. US always project itself as a democratic country, but at the same time workers’ rights are being trampled upon by Nissan”.
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