South Africa – Union Recruitment drive
Johannesburg, South Africa the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (NUMSA) held its 26th anniversary and launched a massive recruitment drive.
The Congress of SA Trade Unions (COSATU) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, addressing that meeting on Friday said, that The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (NUMSA) must forget about recruiting more members, until it practices unity and tolerance. He continued and defined unity as important and that tolerance will get them through their current storm they were experiencing. He told the meeting that, “We should guard our independence with jealousy.”
Vavi emphatically told the members at the meeting they should be more militant and even risk death. He continued and told them not allow themselves to be labeled by the capitalists. Go back to the basics and serve their members he insisted. He mentioned the waste of time spent on debating politics instead of why workers join different unions. Do not lose focus and to remain diligent union workers.
The giant power utility Eskom, and organizations in the engineering, motor, and rubber industries remain under the NUMSA umbrella.
NUMSA president Cedric Gcina told its members that these pressing matters are critical, and suggested the African National Congress (ANC) government should seriously commit to an investigation into the consistent attacks on union offices and targeting employed people of the union. Investigations by police seem to signify no importance to these matters.
He again assured its members that NUMSA would reject the National Development Plan (NDA), as he believed their findings would not help the workers or the country. It does not represent what the founders of NUMSA strived for.
The African National Congress (ANC) agreed with NUMSA not to forgo any of its rights achieved for the working people.
The unveiling of the NDA findings, by the African National Congress (ANC) to eradicate poverty and prevent unemployment met with criticism this week. Although the ANC stated that certain elements criticized by COSATU within the DNA plan are not unjustified. COSATU raised a concern regarding a particular target for of unemployment and the perspective of eradicating poverty might be confusing.
The adopted NDA plan speaks of an unfair and a direct stimulating of the industrial base work plan, with major proposals suggesting co-operation with their own oppression and exploitation are unfair for everyone. The NDA plan is typical bypass plan of expecting one thing and returning another. It shows no respect for the democracy. It is seen as an anti worker policy and the proposals constitute a serious assault on the workers.
COSATU and NUMSA have publicly criticized the plan and confirmed they would continue to differ with their alliance partner the ANC regarding the NDP proposals. VAVI mentioned it was no different from the Democratic Alliance policies and that capitalists are happy with the plan.
The ANC believe the NDA plan is a beneficial one and not a plan to appease the government. It was about achieving economic gains for the country.
The ANC will await a complete critique from all its members before signaling a final NDA plan.
Written by Laura Oneale