We are workers, not glorified slaves – COSATU

Federation calls on workers to join national strike to fight for decent working conditions

We demand decent work and a living wage for we are workers and not glorified slaves

6 October 2016

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is reiterating its call for workers to join the one day national strike tomorrow, Friday, 07th October 2016, in our fight for decent work and also to mark the International Day for Decent Work. The federation restates its position that the worker’s primary adversary is Monopoly Capital and no one else.

We have noted the archetypal trash talking in the media by the usual professional naysayers and self deluded detractors of the federation, who continue to offer their unsolicited opinions.

We refuse to entertain them and to be distracted by their narrow sectarianism and grim posturing , especially coming from some union bureaucrats, who are paid two, three, four, five or more times the pay of the members they ‘represent’. They can afford to be divisive, sectarian and also to derail workers struggles because they are not the ones facing retrenchments ;and seemingly they are not bothered that 500 000 workers have just joined the more than 9 million unemployed South Africans in the first half of this year alone.   

Because we have a huge task of uniting the organised workers’ component of the working class, we will continue to work with all progressive forces of socialism to push back and ultimately defeat the degenerate forces of capitalism 

We are convinced that a united force of class-conscious organised workers cannot afford the luxury of isolating itself by standing on self-indulgent schismatic grounds; merely satisfied with militant sounding slogans, when other class forces are shaping the future of our country.

COSATU is unwavering in its mission to unite the workers and stop the egregious assault on their rights by emboldened employers. We seek to realise this mission not for its own sake, but because we know from our own experience that when workers are united, they can never be defeated and that this is the basis of our solidarity that informs our battle cry “an injury to one, is an injury to all”,

We also know from experience that when workers do not engage in mass struggles, or when they suffer defeats, they become more open to conservative and reactionary ideas. 

Aluta Continua!

Forward to the unity of workers!

Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 6 October 2016