COSATU Statement by the National Office Bearers on the 10th June 2015
10 June 2015
The Congress of South African Trade Unions has welcomed positive developments in the recent days in taking forward the work of the Federation.
We have in the past days attended the 104th International Labour Organization Labour Conference still underway at Geneva under the Theme ‘Building a future with decent work’.
Various themes were under discussions such as Reports of the Chairperson of the Governing Body and of the Director General II, Programme and Budget proposals for 2016–17, Information and reports on the application of Conventions and Recommendations, Small and medium-sized enterprises and decent and productive employment creation, Better protected migrant workers and better governed migration, The transition from the informal to the formal economy, A recurrent discussion on the strategic objective of social protection (labour protection) and the follow-up to the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization, 2008.
On the 12th June 2015 a World Day against Child Labour will be observed under the Theme ‘No To Child Labour-Yes To Quality Education’.
COSATU calls on all South African employers to stop employing children at their workplaces!
COSATU is participating at ILO meetings to cement a decent work agenda and protection of labour standards at a global level and fighting locally.
We have attended the 7th South African AIDS Conference at Durban in KwaZulu-Natal in which COSATU made a presentation of effective ways to curb HIV and Tuberculosis at the workplace.
HIV and AIDS and TB prevalence is a Trade Union issue. And COSATU calls upon all workers and their families to live a positive lifestyle exercise regularly and eat healthy food.
Currently, an International Gender Conference on Decent Work is underway at the St Georges Conference Centre, at Irene in which all COSATU Gender Activists, Workers leaders, researchers and Labour Service Organizations are shaping commitments to tackle challenges faced by women workers in particular at the workplace.
Gender struggle is a political struggle!
On COSATU Provincial Congresses
The Congress of South African Trade Unions has consolidated dates for the coming Provincial Congresses to be held in line with the Constitution of the Federation.
The Congress will be attended by all COSATU affiliated Trade Unions in good standing and credentials thereof will be determined using updated membership by all Affiliated Trade Unions.
At the centre of these Congresses is the unity of workers within COSATU.
The Congresses, amongst others, will assess progress in implementation of the Federation's policies, resolutions, and campaigns and also provide for elections of office bearers.
COSATU has appointed an independent Electoral Commission to facilitate fair, free and transparent conducting of the elections in all provinces.
The Special CEC recently has adopted election guidelines and Code of Conduct to have a comrade atmosphere prevailing in all Congresses.
A schedule has been released and will be updated as and when changes arise due to logistical arrangements.
The Provincial Congresses are scheduled to take place as follows:
1. Limpopo Provincial Congress - 24-26 June 2015 NOB: deployed: First Deputy President (Tyotyo James)
2. North West Provincial Congress - 25-27 June 2015 NOB deployed: Acting General Secretary (Bheki Ntshalintshali)
3. Free State Provincial Congress - 26-28 June 2015 NOB deployed: President (Sidumo Dlamini)
4. Western Cape Provincial Congress - 27-28 June 2015 NOB deployed: Still to be confirmed
5. Mpumalanga Provincial Congress - 27-28 June 2015 NOB deployed: Second Deputy President (Zingiswa Losi)
6. KwaZulu Natal Provincial Congress - 29-31 July 2015 NOB deployed: Second Deputy President (Zingiswa Losi)
7. Northern Cape Provincial Congress - 24-26 July 2015 NOB deployed: Still to be confirmed
8. Gauteng Provincial Congress - 03-04 August 2015 NOB deployed: President and first deputy President (Sidumo Dlamini and Tyotyo James)
9. Eastern Cape Provincial Congress - No date NOB deployed: Still to be confirmed
Provinces are finalizing on all logistical arrangements and all venues will be shared with the public and media.
On the South Gauteng High Court Judgment
This week we were participating in defending the Constitution of the Federation and its decisions.
We regret for being taking to the court and we characterize that as wastage of workers resources and time to do workers’ activities.
These developments are geared towards building a powerful organization on the ground, at all sites of the struggle.
COSATU should continue asserting its goals of a broader social justice, the delivery of services to citizens, the construction of a social welfare system to ending inequality, poverty and unemployment and eradicating income gaps across all sectors and campaigning for a living wage for all workers in South Africa.
The matter was heard before Acting Judge Mbongwe at the South Gauteng High Court involving the ‘urgent’ application made by the former metalworkers Union which was expelled from the Federation.
The High Court ruled that the matter is dismissed with costs. [The Judgment is a public document]
Special National Congress preparations
The coming Special National Congress to be held on the 13th and 14th July 2015 at Midrand, in Gauteng will culminate in the Federation deliberating on the unity, cohesion and leadership within COSATU.
The preparations are underway, with discussion documents in writ for the attention of all affiliates.
The discussion documents, amongst others, will be racing the epochs in the development of unity in the Federation and the challenges facing the Federations.
The Special National Congress will be a necessary platform to take stock of the challenges and draw lessons to nurture a sound, vibrant and sustainable path to mobilize all the working class formations towards a radical economic transformation in the current conjuncture.
COSATU Political Commission formulated by all Affiliates will finalize all formats of deliberations in the coming Special National Congress.
Alliance Summit preparations
COSATU is preparing towards the Alliance Summit at the end of June 2015 to be attended by the African National Congress [ANC], the South African Communist Party [SACP] and the South African National Civic Organizations [SANCO].
Work is underway to deliberate on various socio-economic issues affecting the working class in South Africa.
This is anchored around the repositioning of COSATU towards a radical economic transformation
On Wage Negotiations
We are in a collective bargaining season across all sectors of the economy and workers must use their collective power; labour power to fight to tangible benefits to cope with rising cost of living.
CWU strike at MTN
COSATU calls for solidarity support with Communications Workers Union [CWU] members on strike across all provinces.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted with regret the intransigent and arrogant attitude displayed by the telecommunications network in South Africa, MTN South Africa.
COSATU condemns the announced retrenchments by Telkom whilst the country is facing a crisis of unemployment.
COSATU will campaign against job losses with all affected industries on the streets and in various workplaces.
COSATU has noted that the South African Municipal Workers’ Union [SAMWU] has formally declared a dispute with the South African Local Government Association [SALGA] in relation to the salary and wage negotiations.
The dispute came after three rounds of negotiations and SALGA has not shown any commitment to having these negotiations completed before the current agreement lapses.
COSATU reiterates its total support to the wage and other benefits demands of municipal workers in South Africa.
COSATU notes that negotiations will be resuming in the mining sector and wish all workers well in making a decent work agenda practical.
COSATU wishes all workers in the gold sector well in fighting against income inequalities.
A living wage must be pursued without fail!
Public Service Wage Agreement
COSATU is perturbed the non-implementation of the agreed upon 7% wage increase for public servants across the country and calls on the Department of Public Administration and Service [DPSA] to honour the collective agreement.
Workers have signed for 7% and nothing less!
On FIFA Bribery and Corruption saga
COSATU calls on all former Local Organizing Committee [LOC] Members to share with competent authorities any information they may have on FIFA bribery monies paid to whosoever.
COSATU argues that it should not only be the Minister of Sport and few others seen responding to the bribery scandal. All must speak to maintain the integrity of South Africa as a whole.
Lastly, the integrity of the unity of workers in South Africa across all sectors of the economy under COSATU is a revolutionary route to be heightened at this conjuncture.
Genuine Unity, Genuine Cohesion and Genuine leadership is sacrosanct!
Statement issued by Cde Bheki Ntshalintshali, COSATU Acting General Secretary, June 10 2015