We join everyone in extending wishes for a prosperous 2019, with renewed commitment to the revolutionary tasks faced by the Union; as deliberated into our Executive Structures which we can in sum speaks to:
Unity, Democracy, Socialism
SOCIALIST CASE: As we journey towards a classless and, fully democratic society, free from exploitation of man by man, appreciation of gender equality, decent working conditions, rising levels of consciousness about climate change effects and nature; we must forever remain conscious of the challenges posed by the triple crisis of unemployment, poverty and inequality and accordingly remain vigilant and battle ready to confront them; as an important building block towards a socialist reality.
ECONOMIC RELATIONS: SACCAWU, as part of organised labour, is equally faced with the effects of unfair globalization, attacks on its existence by supporters of neo-liberalism, rapidly changing technology in the workplace, undemocratic global governing bodies and expanding informal economies in which people try to make a living as best they can, as well as other challenges such as the worst forms of child labour and HIV/AIDS.
LACK OF MEANINGFUL TRANSFORMATION: We are concerned by the apparent lack of meaningful transformation across organised sectors of the economy despite volumes and volumes of legislative provisions intended to democratise our workplaces. The outlook of captains of industry seems more representative of robber barons as it demonstrates in a sustainable manner minus/lack of regard to the need to show solidarity with the working people’s plight in general and in particular in class terms. This left unchecked, could be a ticking time bomb, which might explode in a magnitude greater than uprising of 1970’s in the case South African struggles.
SETA AS A MODEL FUNDED BY ±R18 BLLION: The hopes of the entire working people since 1998 when Transformative Acts were signed into law, remains as expectation still to be fulfilled. But, with rising institutional evolution challenges, coupled with high turnover of Ministers within the Department of Higher Education and Training, a political debate at the level of the Alliance has become obligatory. The said debate must position the SETA, as concept, in an equal footing with education systems that were employed in the Socialist Bloc, as an ideological tool that is responding to working class challenges since the Great October Revolution.
RETURN OF SACCAWU NATIONAL PROVIDENT FUND: The struggle for the return of the SNPF must be intensified, especially now that it had become unboundedly clear that both the State and the Regulator (the Financial Sector Conduct Authority [FSCA] formerly the Financial Services Board [FSB]) pay no attention to the prevailing operations of the curator, which has raised more questions that it has provided solutions. It is now clear that SACCAWU is on her own and we need to fight and win this battle, be it in the Courts or on the streets. This continued miscarriage of Justice can just no longer be left unattended, principally so when it comes to working class resources and wealth built out of the blood, sweat and tears of the toiling membership of SACCAWU.
CCMA, LABOUR COURTS AND CONSTITUTIONAL COURT: We, as the Union, have observed much improved results from these institutions, despite them remaining hugely less-friendly to workers. Whilst the anti-worker mentality seems to be engrained in the system, workers have at least gained favour in major and complex matters we brought before these institutions of justice. In 2019, we must strengthen our engagements whilst unceasingly improving our staff members abilities and skills-set in the legal space.
HOSTILE RELATIONS WITHIN ORGANISED COMPANIES: With the institutional memory built over 30 years of our existence, we find it rather strange that employers still demonstrate signs of disrespect to the value of our relationship. We view this to be unnecessary and provocative. The downward variation of working conditions and value of wage bill across organised companies, drives down the social standards of working people, whilst this economic sector is rated as the fourth employment-generating sector contributing to the country’s GDP; with potential growth. This lack of appreciation is unwarranted, and we fail to understand the basis of this attitudinal challenge. 2019 places more pressure on us to find the correct balance or sustainable intervention between cordial working elations and fighting to advance in pursuance of the interest of our members..
MEMBERSHIP GROWTH AND RETENTION: Over years the economy has been in shrinking mode and labour-intensive operations continue to be cut to the core, but we have seen a somewhat steady membership growth, albeit minimal and yet-to-be-verified, within the Union. Efforts must be employed to grow our membership, and where possible collaborate with reputable service providers to provide members with comprehensive social packages. Migration to fully IT managed database must be our priority for effective monitoring of the union’s revenue.
POLITICAL EDUCATION, IDEOLOGICAL WORK AND TRAINING: Education for members, staff and leadership was flagged as a priority by our 11th National Congress and the Union’s Four Year Plan outlines the primary tasks which this Union must implement without failure. As a consequence thereof, human and financial resources must be conditioned towards doubling the efforts to realise this revolutionary task of our Union.
Clarion call: In 2019, let us organise the unorganised, increase unity amongst us, double the efforts to continue to democratise our Union towards a seasoned worker controlled democratic organisation, join democratic forces working tirelessly to democratise the society at large, unceasingly ensue endeavours to move our society into socialist future working with like-minded grassroots working class organisations”.