We call on all members of Cosatu, who are within travelling distance, to go to the Head office on the morning of Wed 14th Aug 2013 to defend the unity of the federation. Imperialism is behind the moves to shatter Cosatu into pieces:
The world context
The world working class is on the move; every capitalist regime on the planet is under threat of being overthrown. The imperialist banks and monopolies are fighting for their lives. The world economy is not growing and the only way that the capitalists can continue to increase their profits is by taking back more from the gains of the working class. The attacks on the working class are being met with greater and greater resistance. One of the tools of the imperialists to maintain control and divert the masses from the path of revolution, is to divide the working class and broader masses. This division of the masses we can see in Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Mali, DRC, etc.
Why imperialism wants to split Cosatu
Across the entire Southern Africa, the masses are restless: the biggest affiliate of the NUNW (National Union of Namibian Workers) have politically broken with Swapo and many issues remain unresolved from last year’s teachers strike; the Zimbabwean masses are unhappy with both Zanu-PF and the MDCs; the masses in Swaziland and Lesotho are long suffering under dictatorships and revolts are regularly breaking out; the hunger revolts in Mozambique are threatening once again; the masses in Madagascar are still challenging the attempts of both French and US imperialism at control; Kenya, Botswana, Angola, Malawi, the DRC, CAR all have unstable regimes. Any renewed uprising in South Africa threatens to spread into the region. Besides, in this world of global communication, any revolt on any part of the planet can inspire the masses anywhere.
In many places in South Africa, service delivery protests are exploding; in every mine the trade union bureaucracy is facing such huge threat that they have been forced to put forward much higher than usual wage demands. The mineworkers’ revolt of last year remains very much unresolved. Although the farm worker leaders have been victimised on a large scale, the oncoming grape season raises the prospect of another revolt.
Besides this, the drive for profits forces the bosses to go on a greater offensive against the masses: the capitalists need to lower the wages of workers; they need to grab more of workers’ pensions; they need to make it easier to dismiss workers- in other words, the capitalists need the NDP (National Development Plan) to be implemented. On every major attack against the working class- the NDP, the youth wage slavery, the fraud over the municipal wage curves, labour brokers, the ANC and DA leaders are in agreement.
From 1985 to 1993, even though the capitalists always tried to weaken Cosatu and the broader working class movement, they were happy that the alliance with the ANC meant that the masses would not place workers power on the agenda but supported a capitalist negotiated settlement that placed the ANC govt as the new managers on behalf of imperialism. From 1994 to 16th Aug 2012, in return for a few economic gains, the alliance, of Cosatu with the ANC, chained workers to accept capitalist rule. The mineworkers’ revolt was led by Cosatu workers who were breaking from the ANC. Alliance with the ANC had become centralised begging and centralised starvation. The suppressed report of the Foundation for Public Dialogue (how ironic) revealed that more than 60% of Cosatu shopstewards favours breaking the alliance with the ANC. This means that much more of the rank and file of Cosatu, possibly more than 80%, want to break with the ANC. The most highly organised and militant working class formation in SA, breaking from the ANC and moving in a class independent direction, is what imperialism is worried about, as it places their continued rule under imminent threat. This is why imperialism now wants to shatter Cosatu into pieces, with the feeble excuse of Vavi’s fallen spear.
The way forward- our proposal for a Special Congress of Cosatu
The central demand should be for preparation for a special Congress to review the alliance and to decide on a fighting platform to unite the entire labour movement for the coming decisive battles with the capitalist-imperialist class.
If the Cosatu leaders were standing for working class interests,
· Why did they not take Baleni of NUM to task for urging the police to shoot unarmed striking mineworkers?
· Why was the Popcru leadership never taken to task for never condemning the massacre by the police at Marikana?
· Why was the CCEPPWAWU leadership not taken to task for not spearheading the struggle for the reduction of the price of petrol (and thus of food and transport) when they know that Sasol produces 40% of the fuel in the country at less than $20 per barrel?
· Why was the ANC not taken to task for electing a capitalist to Vice President, Ramaphosa, the same one who was complicit in the Marikana massacre?
· Why was President Zuma not taken to task for breaking the Mangaung resolution which opposed Africom- he spearheaded a joint SANDF-US military exercise of Africom in the Eastern Cape
· Why was Anglo American never challenged over their theft of trillions of dollars of wealth their stole from SA and the broader African continent over the past 40 years and more? Here is the basis for wiping out poverty in SA and the rest of Africa, overnight. Here is the basis for a sustained campaign to root out patriarchy
· Why has there never been any mass mobilization of Cosatu members in defence of the 1000 soldiers who were dismissed in 2009, merely for exercising their right to protest while off duty?
The path to maintain the unity of Cosatu must therefore also mean that the entire leadership is replaced with those who are prepared to struggle for working class power through mass action means as the immediate strategic task. Forward to grassroots discussion forums of employed and unemployed; break the alliance with the ANC; for a workers summit to plan a broad programme of action; Forward to a new revolutionary, working class party- nationally, regionally and internationally. Forward to Socialism!
Defend Cosatu; Demand the release of the survey on shopstewards by the Forum for Public Dialogue; Forward to a Special Congress; Forward to Working class power
Issued by Workers International Vanguard Party; 1st Floor, Community House, 41 Salt River rd, Salt River, 7925. Email email@example.com, website www.workersinternational.org.za ph or sms 0822020617 ph 021 4476777. 13.8.2013