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Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine Statement To the International trade union movement

Originally posted here  11.03.2014

The People of Ukraine took to the Maidan in Kiev and other Ukrainian cities, struggling peacefully for a civilized, European future. Protesters sought democracy and decent social protections for working people in the face of the corruption and lawlessness of Yanukovich regime and they were victorious. The Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine and its member organizations took an active part in this struggle from the first days. Unfortunately there were victims. As a result of armed violence against Ukrainian people more than a hundred killed and nearly 300 missing. More than 2000 people were wounded.

Numsa launch new paper

Numsa News: We say No to handouts, we need real jobs

Highlights include:
Numsa congress: Breaking new ground
Parliament: So, what is the state of the nation when it comes to policy and direction?
Numsa striking for youth jobs against false solutions
ANC vision: An Assessment of Vision 2014
Shop floor: Eskom salary report
Benefits: Will the government take workers’ pension fund money?
The meaning of Marikana tragedy

Issue One here!

Numsa on the United Front and the possibilities of establishing a movement for Socialism

4 March 2014, Posted in Press Releases

Numsa convened a press briefing on Sunday 2nd March 2014, for purposes of presenting our 2014 statement on a range of issues and to report the outcome of the historic Numsa Special National Congress held on 17-20 December 2013. 

The media on Monday 3rd March 2014 ran with headlines screaming that Numsa is establishing a new political party. Given the many media enquiries we received we opted not to do a multitude of interviews, but to offer this brief statement which is in line with our 15 page statement of 2 March 2014, wherein we reiterate the following; Continue reading

Numsa Views on the state of Class Struggles in South Africa and the Crisis in Cosatu

“Numsa is calling ALL South African workers, Black and White and African, to join us in our United Front to demand the immediate and radical implementation of the Freedom Charter as the only basis for a truly democratic South Africa and in our fight against all neoliberal manifestations.”

Numsa Headquarters, Johannesburg

People always have been the foolish victims of deception and self-deception in politics, and they always will be until they have learnt to seek out the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises.”

Lenin in “Three Sources and Three Component parts of Marxism”, March 1913

“Nothing demonstrates better the increasing rigor of the colonial system: you begin by occupying the country, and then you take the land and exploit the former owners at starvation rates. Then with mechanization, this cheap labour is still too expensive. You finish up taking from the native their very right to work. All that is left for the Natives to do in their own land at a time of great prosperity is to die of starvation.” (Jean Paul Sartre, 1964)

A.  The world we live in today and our 20 years of “Democracy”

It is impossible to deny that the world has seen the most severe crisis of the global capitalist system.  And, there is no end in sight, to this crisis. Continue reading

Numsa to strike for Youth Jobs

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa’s (Numsa) representing 341 150 members will come out on a protected socio-economic strike on Wednesday 19 March 2014 to demand jobs for South Africa’s youth.

This is the first of a series of rolling socio-economic strikes that the union decided on at its Special National Congress in December 2013.

Since November 2013, Numsa has been involved in negotiations with government at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) where the union objected to the Employment Tax Incentive Bill that government had tabled in parliament.

see more here: http://www.numsa.org.za/article/numsa-strike-youth-jobs-march-19-2014/
and here:
http://www.numsa.org.za/article/joint-statement-numsa-trade-unions-progressive-social-movements/ 

On events in Bosnia-Herzegovina: a letter to a Trade Unionist

Dear Comrade,
Let’s think through what positive and appropriate proposals to put forward in discussion with Bosnian worker or socialist activists. We will be of some use if we just find ways to help a given social movement to draw from the experience of the international workers’ movement (which we know something about) which is long-buried in Bosnia-Herzegovina. We don’t need to invent anything, especially not substituting ourselves for the Bosnians; all we need do is generalise and bring together the demands they themselves are fighting for. Continue reading

Nine South African unions don’t have unconditional support for the ANC

www.bdlive.co.za/national/politics/2014/01/30/cosatu-affiliates-speak-out-against-unconditional-support-for-anc;jsessionid=9C0FAB3112D042B0EECD04019A2D9E89.present2.bdfm

“NINE affiliates of the Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) on Wednesday accused the federation’s leadership of going against policy by giving the African National Congress (ANC) their unconditional support in the upcoming election.

“They also demanded the reinstatement of suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi . .. ”

“The nine affiliates wrote to Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini last year, asking him to convene a special congress to iron out the divisions in the federation. They have accused him of delaying.

“Workers have never agreed that Cosatu should give the ANC a blank cheque,” South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) general secretary Walter Theledi said at a joint media briefing with the leaders of the eight other unions.

“Mr Dlamini and the Cosatu leadership have repeatedly said the federation’s support for the ANC was unconditional, and it would throw its weight behind the party in the upcoming election.

“But Mr Theledi said Cosatu had resolved at its 2012 national congress that its support for the ANC should not be unconditional, but be based on “advancing” the demands of its members and the broader working class.

The nine unions include Samwu, the Food and Allied Workers Union, the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union, nurses union Denosa, the Communication Workers Union, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), football union Safpu, the Public and Allied Workers Union and the South African State and Allied Workers Union.”

See the joint statement herehttp://www.numsa.org.za/article/press-statement-of-the-nine-cosatu-affiliates-calling-for-the-reinstatement-of-comrade-zwelinzima-vavi-and-for-a-special-national-delegate-congress-as-a-matter-of-urgency/

The Workers Charter

Workers’ Charter 
adopted by National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA)  1987

Preamble
We, the working people of South Africa, the main producers of our country’s wealth, declare:

That, as workers, we are daily robbed of a rightful share of the fruits of our labour.

That, as black workers, we are subjected to even more intense exploitation by a system of capitalism which uses national domination to keep wages low and profits high.

That, as part of the black oppressed whose forebears were conquered by force of arms, we continue to suffer all the social, political, economic and cultural deprivations of a colonised people. Continue reading

Black Thursday at Marikana

By Radoslav Pavlovic,
Workers International to Rebuild the Fourth International

While a heat-wave and panic in the northern hemisphere have set off rocketing corn prices, in the southern half it’s supposed to be winter. But the seasonal silence has been shattered by the gunshots of the South African police on Thursday 16 August 2012. 34 miners at the Marikana platinum mine were killed, some 80 wounded and more than 250 arrested. It was a bloodbath of a kind unknown since the days of Apartheid, but with the difference that the killers and their victims are both black, while the mine owners and those giving the orders are still white. Continue reading