NUMSA statement on victory scored at Capital Outsourcing workers

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has called this Media Briefing, to publicly announce the groundbreaking victory we have scored for our 127 members against Capital Outsourcing.
We are pleased that after stormy months of battle, we have finally won against Capital Outsourcing, a Labour Broker contracted by Transnet at Port of Ngqura at the time of the employment of the dismissed workers.  Our members embarked on a courageous and selfless journey of struggle to demand to be employed permanently by Transnet.
These workers have been working for many years for this Labour Broker – Capital Outsourcing, which has a contract with Transnet to supply it with the required workforce, unfortunately these workers were being paid a pittance and a huge chunk of their income was taken by the scavenger Capital Outsourcing.
Our members were on strike since April 25, 2014 until the 29 July 2014 with the full support of their union – Numsa. These workers joined Numsa after being deserted by the fast fading South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) who failed to take up workers issues and instead colluded with Transnet management to ensure that Numsa members previously employed by labour brokers are not employed permanently by Transnet.
In addition to colluding with management they embarked on vicious, false propaganda claiming that Numsa was burning houses, importing arms and intimidating workers at Port Ngqura, instead of defending workers right to strike and against labour brokers.
These workers as they are seated amongst us at this Media Briefing, when they embarked on strike from the 25 April 2014, the principle of No Work No Pay was upheld by the employer, as a tactic to hit the workers hard in the stomach so that they can abandon the strike and accept their appalling conditions of employment and service.
These workers remained true to the global worker’s battle dictum “an injury to one, is an injury to all” and forged ahead with the strike. Finally these workers have secured a major victory.
The strike was mainly constituted by workers in the following categories of employment at the Port of Ngqura, Drivers; Rail Reefers; Process workers; Painters, General workers and Bobcats. These workers form the strategic core of the workforce and are critical for the smooth operations of the Port.
The attempts by Transnet to employ scab labour to undermine the strike failed spectacularly; this victory sees Transnet with egg on their faces.
Obviously this was a painful journey workers had to endure; they suffered without any source of income for a period of more than three months. This is against the backdrop of the sad reality that workers who are lucky to be employed in South Africa today, are faced with the socio-economic burden of taking care of the vast majority of the unemployed that is ravaged by squalor and poverty in our Townships and former Apartheid created Bantustans.
These workers did not have any source of income to provide for their offspring and dependents, amidst the high cost of living in our country, accompanied by the triple crisis of poverty, unemployment and deepening inequality.
We salute these workers rallying behind their just and noble struggle against Capital Outsourcing. Their victory will continue to inspire many workers involved in similar struggles against Labour Brokers who are modern slavery.
On 12 July 2015 we scooped a major victory against Capital Outsourcing at the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), the contracted Labour Broker Company used by Transnet in Port Elizabeth.
Despite the hardships endured by our members, on strike, despite the company’s dismissal of 127 workers for daring to embark on strike action, Numsa has gained a major victory for our members in the concept of labour brokering. This serves as a wakeup call to other Labour Brokers who think that when they lose contract with their clients, they can arbitrary dismiss those workers who placed at those clients.
This is what we have won for members:
The 127 workers have been compensated for with a total amount of R3,351,692.64
The dismissal was procedurally and substantially flawed and unfair;
We dedicate this sterling victory to a late member at Port of Ngqura, cde Luyanda Mpulampula, who succumbed to death during the arbitration process, after a short illness. Wherever he is in the nooks and crannies of the universe, he joins his comrades in celebrating this groundbreaking victory.
Cde Mpulampula’s family will benefit and receive the compensation on his behalf.
While we have won compensation for these workers, our struggle has not ended.  We will reconvene at the CCMA on 26 – 27 August 2015 in Port Elizabeth to pursue our struggle against Transnet for its failure to employ these workers who were victorious against Capital Outsourcing.
Remember that the then GCEO Brian Molefe has stated publicly that Transnet and its recognized trade unions have agreed that all labour broker employees will be employed by Transnet in June 2014.  Despite the public commitment made by the then GCEO Brian Molefe, Transnet has failed to employ these workers on a permanent basis because of them participating in the strike. It is for these reasons that Numsa have declared a dispute against Transnet of failure to employ.
This victory is all the more significant coming at a time when the employers are on the offensive against unions, collective bargaining and the right to strike. This was typified by the antics of the than Transnet GCEO Brian Molefe (now moonlighting as Eskom Acting CEO) who was using political posturing to undermine the strike, and his misguided reliance of using anti-union bashing tactics, as opposed to soberly addressing the issues raised by workers.
This victory has emboldened us to continue to fight for the improvement of workers conditions at Transnet. We call on workers at Transnet not to repent, amidst intimidation tactics against Numsa by management, but to join this fighting union en masse. As Numsa we will never desert or betray workers in the hands of the bosses, we shall continue to be their shield and spear at the point of production.
On the alleged misappropriation of R200K:
We note that an Investigation Report on the “alleged” misappropriation of R200K by Numsa’s Shopstewards at Schnellecke Logistic Solutions, has been leaked to media. We view the leaking of the Report as a deliberate act to fuel disunity and ring false alarms bells that workers hard-earned money is being misappropriated or embezzled by Shopstewards for their own selfish ends.
We want to state categorically that Numsa has appointed a team to investigate these allegations so that necessary action could be taken against the Shopstewards involved, in line with Numsa’s Disciplinary Code of Conduct and Constitution. The leaking of the Report partly undermines this process and the work done thus far. Numsa is quite happy with the progress made by the Team assigned to do the investigation. The Report is being considered by Regional Office Bearers (ROBs’) and its findings will be made to the affected Shopstewards in due course.
We appeal to those responsible for leaking the Report to hold back and allow the union to follow internal processes in dealing with the matter. We are in no way shielding anyone from taking responsibility, but the union cannot afford to do its work without following due internal processes.
The leaking of the allegations does not only harm the public image of the union, but gives ammunition to the forces opposed to the Numsa, particularly its elected leadership.
Numsa is a transparent union and it does not tolerate misappropriation of funds drawn from the pittance and meagre wages of workers. The union will always uphold its constitution and policies in rooting out those found to have used their positions to unduly rewarding themselves, using workers money.
The Regional Executive Committee (REC) scheduled for mid-August 2015 will finalise the Report and act accordingly as mandated by the REC.
Education crisis in the Northern Suburbs of Port Elizabeth:
We note the education crisis in the Northern suburbs of the Nelson Mandela Bay, which led to a conflict yesterday Monday 27 July 2015. We are not convinced that the intervention and visit by the MEC of Education Mr Mandla Makupula, will bring a lasting solution.
At the core of this crisis is the untransformed Bantu education system we inherited from our old Apartheid legacy. The education in working class and poor communities continue to reproduce Apartheid cheap labour, whilst previously Model C schools produces better learners to meet the demands of our post-schooling needs. What we need in South Africa, as correctly demanded by the Freedom Charter is a standardized education system and abolishment of private schooling.
The Eastern Cape is known to be the worst performing province when it comes to education. It is also a province where a number of teachers have remained unemployed or not been paid. The national policies of abolishing teacher training colleges are coming to haunt us.
As Numsa, we demand a set-aside in the provincial bursaries and in the national Lushaka bursaries for teachers who can teach Mathematics in Afrikaans. As a short-term solution the national Department of Basic Education must explore the possibility of recruiting Afrikaans Mathematics teachers who can help with the situation immediately.
Issued by Regional Office Bearers (ROBs’) on behalf of the Eastern Cape
Phumzile Nodongwe
Regional Secretary
Mobile: 078 802 3140