Declaration of the 2nd National Working Class Summit
SAFTU 5 August 2022
We the 500 delegates gathering in the Braamfontein Recreation Centre, joined by scores of others,representing over 150 working-class formations across the length and breadth of our country, meet during unprecedented crises.
We meet during devastating social stresses, in essence a civil war that has not been declared, but that is being waged mainly from above, by those in the boardrooms and the state, and also by those among us who have guns but have no apparent morals. No less than 67 citizens get killed every dying the streets of our country.
In recent weeks we saw 22 young people perish at Enyobeni Tavern in East London, followed by massacre after massacre in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal taverns. Then came the gang rape of young women by balaclava-clad thugs in Krugersdorp. We have learnt that this is a lived reality of women in the whole of West Rand, with some women having been raped by up to 20 monsters, in attacks that have been going on for years.
The Kagiso community uprising against Zama-Zama informal mineworkers – with several morefatalities and more signs of divide-and-rule – requires us to analyse areas suffering the worst detritusof exhausted circuits of capital. There, we know that criminal mining syndicates exploit both localand foreign workers, reducing them to scavengers to survive the brutality of the system. We must guard against our people being mobilised against each other, merely for the sake of supplying leftover bits of gold to a corporate-dominated market that cares not what misery arose capitalism’s brutal mining sector.
SAFTU CONVENES THE WORKING CLASS SUMMIT TO PREPARE FOR A FIGHT BACK
THORN ENTERS INTO AN ABOVE INFLATION RATE REMUNERATION AGREEMENT
THORN 16 July 2022
THORN has signed a 2 (two) year agreement for wage increase with Spar North Rand Distribution Centre.
We are proud to announce that after numerous meetings held with the employer THORN managed to secure a remuneration increase that is above the inflation rate for its members.
We have signed a two year agreement for increases as follows:
R800.00 for first year and R900.00 second year increase ATB for all our members under the bargaining unit. What makes us more proud is the fact that during these trying times, obviously as results of the capitalist system, we have done our utmost best to ensure that our members get an increase that is above the inflation rate. 5% increase for Travel allowance.
It has always been our priority to ensure that we protect and further the interest of our members. We stand firm in defending and fighting for our members. We shall bite the bullet to ensure that our members earn a living wage.
Issued on behalf of THORN by the General Secretary.
For more info Contact Xolani Sisilane
The workers at Clover are fighting against unfair practices retrenchments and factory closures. Help them by boycotting of all Clover products. The Israeli owned MILCO , the new owners of Clover are not only contributing towards the oppression of the Palestinian people but are also exploiting workers in South Africa. Milco is a front company for The Central Bottling Company (CBC) that was recently ordered to pay a $17 million (R228 million) fine by Israel’s Antitrust Authority, which performs a role similar to that of South Africa’s Competition Commission.
Milco purchased CLOVER a profitable company with the intention not to increase production but rather asset strip and use to distribute CBC products in South Africa. As soon as they gained control of the company they started with retrenchments 2 The company was also delisted from the JSE to reduce financial accountability.
Workers fought back going on strike in 2020. Despite this management continues its attacks on the workers. Clover has been insisting that workers accept a 4,5% wage increase; this proposed increase is below the inflation rate, meaning workers will not get a real increase in their wages and buying power. The forcible imposition of the one-van assistant one-driver. • The forcible imposition of a compressed working week of 12-hour shifts. • The imposition of permanent short-time • Making work on Sundays and Public Holidays compulsory for new workers • Changing from a five-day working week to a six-day working week.
Major Mfunda, an experienced forklift driver employed by Clover at its dairy in Port Elizabeth, was fired after he refused to work on all public holidays until 2022. The father of five refused to sign the two-year public holiday roster and was dismissed in February for insubordination and refusing to follow instructions. Mfunda has spent the endless months of lockdown in South Africa unable to find another job to support his children.
They intend to shut down production lines in South Africa in order to sell dairy products manufactured by CBC. This will not only lead to job losses in South Africa but continued financial support for the Israeli State.
1. No to job losses/retrenchments.
2. All austerity measures must be withdrawn
3. Wage increase of 10%
4. The disinvestment of ILCO/CBC
5. The take-over of Clover by the State with democratic worker participation
Forward to the struggle of no surrender, forward!!
For more information contact:
FOODLOVER WORKERS ON INDUSTRIAL ACTION
THORN 5 December 2021
Scottburgh foodlovers workers embarked on industrial action after the employer has blatantly refused to offer increases for year 2021 including other substantive working conditions.
Workers submitted proposals for wages, benefits and substantive conditions of employment early this year. These proposals included inter alia, provident fund which is the most crucial benefit of employment as it is an investment for workers.
Despite household food basket being R4 317,56 these workers are still paid R21,69 per hour and the employer is not even prepared to offer CPI increase improving the Sectoral Determination 9 minimum wage.
It is so difficult for these workers to have savings from their meagre earnings. In order to ameliorate the already devastating conditions, we have proposed that the employer implement provident Fund which both workers and employer will be contributing equivalently but the employer was not amenable using the now ubiquitous justification for super exploitation, COVID-19.
We call for Consumers not to purchase anything from Food Lovers Scottburgh until these profit prioritising bosses give employers what is due to them. United we stand, Divided we fall!! No to maximising profit at the expense of workers!!
Issued by Xolani Sisilane on behalf of THORN.
For more info contact Xolani Sisilane:
Striking workers reach agreement with South Point
Sibongile Portia Jonas (New Frame) 2 November 2021
Workers at a student accommodation company, which earns most of its revenue from National Student Financial Aid Scheme funds, have ended their eight-week strike for better conditions.
An eight-week strike by student residence workers has thrown the spotlight on private landlords who build property empires from public National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funds.
About 190 cleaning, security and front desk workers went on strike from 1 September to 29 October at South Point, a student accommodation provider, in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria, Durban and Gqeberha.
Affiliated to the General Industries Workers Union of South Africa (Giwusa), the workers wanted a salary of R12 500 a month, medical aid, changing rooms and canteens, a 13th cheque (instead of a performance bonus) and to be paid the Covid-19 unemployment insurance fund (UIF) temporary relief payments that have been outstanding for a year.
However, they eventually settled on a 5% wage increase, change room facilities, professional development training and for current employees to be considered first when positions in the company become vacant. Giwusa and South Point have also agreed to further discussions on the insourcing of staff, an employee canteen and a transport and housing allowance. https://www.newframe.com/striking-workers-reach-agreement-with-south-point/?fbclid=IwAR0empwk3Yv0acXf7egyR8YJIZByuIll3051Jj_101VWDthTggl1_tYcQGE
GLOBAL STRIKE WAVE
THORN 21 October 2021
Turkey: strike wave marks turning point in class struggle South Korea: militant national strike shows anger against capitalist establishment
Striketober: sleeping giant of US labour movement begins to stir
Çağla Güneş 20 October 2021
The Turkish working class is beginning to move as a series of strikes and protests spread across the country. Factory workers; textile workers; construction workers; health workers; postal workers; service workers; miners; airline workers; press workers; municipality workers; and more have begun fighting back against union busting, unfair contracts, layoffs, dismissals, and unpaid wages.
Turkish capitalism has been in crisis for years now, which has been compounded and deepened by the global economic crisis unleashed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The conditions workers are being forced to work under and the attacks on living standards are driving workers to the unions. The consciousness of millions of workers has taken a leap forward. Workers increasingly understand that they cannot trust the bosses or the government, and the need for class unity against the bosses. Union membership, which had been falling since the 1980s, has reached a point of inflexion and is once more on the rise. This is an omen of things to come.
The ruling class is not only trying to make the workers pay for the current crisis, they are desperately attempting to prevent the Turkish working class from organising into a strong labour movement. Workers who attempt to unionise are being methodically singled out and fired with a slew of labour laws.
As strikes and protests become increasingly frequent and the economic crisis deepens, the way is being prepared for a social explosion in Turkey.
Sung-yang Park 20 October 2021
On 20 October, over 80,000 members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) answered the leadership’s call to take to the streets across 14 regions of South Korea. A further 50,000 workers also walked off their jobs at 2pm.
The workers who participated in the strike were drawn from all industries under the KCTU umbrella.
Metal workers, construction workers, non-regular school workers, along with service and medical workers and others stood shoulder to shoulder in their workplaces and on the streets.
Joe Attard 19 October 2021
The USA has been hit by a ‘Striketober’ of industrial action across a range of sectors: from healthcare to construction; carpentry to coal mining; media to communications; snack foods and cereal manufacturing. In all, 100,000 workers voted to authorise strike action this month.
The old union bureaucrats have undermined some of these struggles, but they are straining against the rising militancy of a working class that is unwilling to shoulder the economic burden of the pandemic crisis while the bosses’ profits soar.
The profound dislocation over the past 18 months is shaking up the system, and setting the stage for a turning point in the American class struggle.
Turkey: strike wave marks turning point in class struggle
South Korea: militant national strike shows anger against capitalist establishment
Striketober: sleeping giant of US labour movement begins to stir
SAFTU SUPPORTS THORN WORKERS PROTESTING AT TERAOKA (PTY) LTD , CITY DEEP , JOHANNESBURG.
SAFTU 12 October 2021
The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) fully supports members of its affiliate, Transport, Retail and General Workers Union (THORN), who are on strike for wage increments, fair labour practice and demanding organisational rights.
Members of THORN, working for a company that boast as the leader in label printers industry, retail manufacturing industry and industrial equipment industry, TERAOKA(Pty) Ltd, are on strike fighting for the following demands:
• 12% increase across the board,
• Recognition of our shop stewards
• An enquiry into discriminatory practices and favouritism, and
• An immediate end to union bashing and intimidation of our members for having joined the union.
A RULING AWARD OF REINSTATEMENT & RETROSPECTIVE PAY of R100 000.00.
THORN 28 September 2021
THORN has once again proven to be a real thorn in the flash of arrogant bosses. An employee was dismissed for bringing union into the workplace, despite living in a purported democratic state where Constitution as entrenched in it, is the supreme law of South Africa, we still have bosses who undermine the freedom of association which is a constitutional guaranteed right.
These employers would adopt disdainful and contra bonos mores actions against employees for exercising their rights to join a trade union. After workers have joined unions, victimisation follows. What’s muddling is the fact that these employers always have their legal representatives, why is it then a problem if workers join a trade union? There is only one reasonable assumption, the union is a threat to the comfort Zone of the employer in which behind such comfort there is super exploitation and unbearable working conditions hence the employers arrogantly undermine the right to freedom of association and dismiss employees for joining unions.
THORN as the the union that seeks to protect, promote and further rights and interests of workers, we took heads the employer who had dismissed a a worker for bringing a union in the workplace place and the CCMA ruled in our favour. An award of reinstatement and retrospective pay of R100 000.00 was issued in our favour.
Issued on behalf of THORN by Xolani Sisilane.
For more details contact 081 558 6389.
NUMSA calls for nationwide strike
Engineering News 30 September 2021
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has officially served a notice of strike action in the metals and engineering sector.
The strike action will start at 05:00 on October 5 with a march in Gauteng, as well as potential marches in KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Town.
The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) says it will soon, on behalf of its affiliated associations, respond with a formal notice of lock-out in response to the strike. The lock-out notice will reserve the right of companies in the sector to implement a lock-out should they wish to do so.
Seifsa, meanwhile, through a duly appointed negotiating team continues to explore all possible settlement possibilities with organised labour in an endeavour to limit the damage industrial action will inflict on the sector.
"However, in light of the fact that the action on Tuesday next week will proceed, we once again urge all members to take all necessary precautions and plan for the worst case scenario which we will be doing our utmost to mitigate," it states.
There is concern in the industry about the economic cost of the planned strike.
Employees at South Point student accommodation forge ahead with protest action
Sisonke Mlamla (IOL News) 2 September 2021
Cape Town - Employees at South Point student accommodation in different cities, including Cape Town, continued with their protest as the South Point management said they were unable to meet all their demands.
This after the employees handed over a long list of demands regarding the problems they were allegedly experiencing.
Problems included a pay increase to R12 500 a month and the provision of changing rooms and decent canteens, training and development.
In Cape Town workers picketed outside the South Point residence at 22 Barrack Street. Shop steward Alex Ndzuzo said at least five residences housing students from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology were affected.
Ndzuzo said the residences were situated in Woodstock, Bellville, Barrack Street, Cape Town, Plein Street and Claremont.
“The main challenge we are facing is the outsourcing of services to Servest cleaning company in Cape Town,” said Ndzuzo.
General Industrial Workers Union of South Africa (Giwusa) president Mametlwe Sebei said the workers also demanded to be paid their outstanding Covid-19 UIF temporary relief payments.
South Point management said Giwusa announced that it would embark on a strike action against them from yesterday.
“The timing of that announcement in light of the current economic climate could not be more unfortunate.”
They said the demands made by the union undermined the company’s current sustainability. The combined impact of the demands of the union would result in the lowest earning employees earning in excess of R20 000 a month, which was clearly unviable and not sustainable.
“The union’s minimum wage demand, which it says is only a living wage, is more than five times the national minimum wage, which is backed by research and was reached through a national dialogue taking more than three years.”
South Point said the union has not justified its rationale for its minimum wage. It said both parties signed a picketing agreement, which outlined mutually-agreed strike parameters that included strikers would only picket at designated South Point offices around the country and refrain from intimidating South Point’s staff, tenants (residential, commercial and retail), clients and suppliers.
“Despite these challenges, South Point has been and is still open to engage, (and it) remains committed to finding a fast and fair resolution,” South Point management said.
Strike at Palm Packaging Phoenix
THORN 23 August 2021
On the 15 February 2021 workers submitted their memorandum to the management complaining about ill treatment by the their HR manager Mr Mogamet who treat black Africa workers different from their Indian counter part by preferring Indian on giving the more overtime while black workers are put on short time, this memorandum till to date is never address by management since from February and the dispute was declared to CCMA in may and the certificate of strike was issued on the 12 August 2021, further the union had the pending case for short time whereby the company does not want to consult with the union while we have the collective agreement with the company and this matter will lead to another strike
As agreement could not be reached strike is on going.
JUSTICE FOR MARIKANE MURDERED MINE WORKERS!!!
THORN 16 August 2021
16 August 2021 marks 9 years from 16 August 2012. On this day Lonmin mine workers were were brutally murder on an order made by then Deputy President. South African Government has proven to be pro-capitalist, to date no justice has been served for those 34 Murdered employees. To the heroes whom the massacre claimed, we remember you on this day for being leaders who vigorously fought against exploitation and rejected the slavish wages.
WOMEN’S DAY MESSAGE
THORN 9 August 2021
Happy women’s day!! THORN would like to wish Imbokodo a happy Women’s day as we commemorate the women struggles. This day commemorates the 1956 march when our Women, approximately more than 20 000 of them Marched to the Union Building to fight against Apartheid imposed Pass Law which was promulgated for the purpose of controlling black women movement in urban areas. But, as THORN we have less to celebrate when Gender based Violence is still prevalent, while we are still in a patriarchal society, while there’s still subjection to inequality, and while our women still make a larger percentage on unemployment rate. As we are commemorating their struggles on this particular day, it is paramount importance that we make it our day to day basis practice.
Sanibona Maqabane, siyathemba niyaphila futhi niphephile lanikhona.
THORN 13 July 2021
Kuningi esibhekene nakho ngaleskhath singabasebenzi futhi kukona konke akukho esizothi kusekuzuzeni kwabasenzi. Sibhekene nemigomo eqinisiwe ngenhloso yokuvimba ukubhebhetheka koKhuvethe konke lokho akuyona into esiyamukela ngokuphelele ngoba uHulumeni akukho akuqinisekisayo ukuthi abasebenzi bavikelelekile abazukusokola kulezikhathi ezimbi kanje.
Siyazi ukuth njengoba iqhubeka imogomo ka level4 lokho kuchaza indlala kuthina ngoba noma ikhona iTERS Siyaz ukuth ithuba longxiwankulu Kanye naye uHulumeni ukuthi bawqhubeke nokuKhwabanisa.
Kuyimanje sibhekene nesimo esibi futh esinzima ezimpilweni zethu ngoba lokhu okwenzekayo kuzoba nomthelela ongemuhle kumnotho wethu, ngeke kugcine lapho kodwa kunobungozi bokuth kuchaphacezeleke imisebenzi yethu. Sikhuluma kuyimanje izinga labantu abangasebenzi eningizimu liku32,6 % kodwa lokho akulona izinga esingathi liqinisekisiwe ngoba kunabant abaphila ngokuzenzela imisebenzi yezandla Kanye nabadayisayo abangabaliwe kulelinani.
Kulesimo esibhekene naso kukodwa okuhle esingathi siyakufunda, ukuthi uma simunye sibambisene lukhulu ushintsho esingeza nalo singabasebenzi oluzogcina lubeka thina empilweni engcono.
Siyacela ukuthi singazibandakanyi nezenzo eziphula umthetho ngoba ngoba lokho ekugcineni kuzoba namachaphazelo angemahle nasemisebenzini yethu.
Kuzo zonke lezinto esenzekile akukho okuhlupha njengokuth miningi imindeni ezogcina iswela iphelelwa imisebenzi. Kuzo zonke lezimo ezingenhle neze ekuphucuzekeni kwethu siyacela uma kukhona ekuzoba namachaphazelo emisebenzini yenu nisazise ngazo zonke izikhathi ukuze sikwazi ukulwela kanye nokuvikela amalungelo enu.
Kuningi esibhekene nako kepha uTHORN uzoqhubeka ube iva kubaqashi abaxhaphazayo!!!
Hello Friends, we hope you are well and safe wherever you are.
We are facing a lot at this time as workers and there is nothing we can say it's beneficial to the workers. We are facing serious policies with the intention of preventing Khuvethe's obsession with all that is not a complete acceptance because the government is not sure that the workers are protected from suffering in such bad times.
We know that as the level policy continues that means hunger to us because even though there is TERS we know that the government should continue to slaughter.
Right now we are facing a bad and difficult situation in our lives because what is happening will have a negative impact on our economy, it won't end there but there is danger of affecting our jobs. We are talking now the level of unemployed people south is 6 but that is not the level we can say it's guaranteed because there are people who live by handworks and sellers who are not included in this price.
In this situation we are going through there is only one good thing we can learn, that when we are together we are the change we can add to the better life. Please let's not involve ourselves in lawful acts because in the end there will be good effects on our jobs.
Out of all these things that have happened nothing is more annoying than so many families that will end up losing jobs.
To all these negative situations in our development please if anyone has any impact on your jobs let us know at all times so we can fight for and protect your rights.
We are facing alot but TORN will continue to hear from abusive employers!!!
!!VICTORY FOR SPAR EASTERN CAPE WORKERS!!
THORN 21 May 2021
THORN is proud to announce that after a period of six (6) weeks industrial action it has entered into a settlement agreement with SPAR Eastern Cape Distribution Centre which has ensured that employees will benefits more than what they have been previously were.
Employees have embarked on a strike seeking 8.1 increase but the settlement agreement that we entered into has been much beneficial to our members as some of the workers who had a basic salary of R6500 have moved to a basic salary of R14000.
We are indeed proud of the fact that when workers are united knowing that the purpose of joining this revolutionary and militant trade union is for their own benefits and to fight against exploitative employers it is all possible.
Power to the working class!!!! There is no other alternative to the most brutal and exploitative system which is capitalism than socialism