The municipal wage negotiations- The ANC-DA alliance (Salga) launches an attack on the working class.

The ANC-DA alliance (Salga) is launching an attack on workers gains by wanting to tear up workers gains on leave, sick leave and the exclusion of lawyers from disciplinary hearings, and by offering wage cuts to workers- this is an attack on decent work and amounts to the ANC going back on its election promises.

 

The attacks on workers rights and wage levels is part of an international attack launched by the big capitalists of the world, for example, workers in Spain, Greece, Chile, USA, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Portugal, Italy, UK, Bolivia, China, etc have all faced huge attacks by their own state on behalf of monopoly capital; World capitalism is in crisis; all capitalist countries are cutting public sector expenses by cutting workers wages and by casualization. At the same time, public funds have been handed over to the major banks to bail them out. These are the same banks that are responsible for increasing food prices to starve billions of the masses, the same banks who have pushed up the price of petrol, the price of electricity and the price of housing; millions of workers have been evicted by the same banks and millions more are kept homeless because they cannot afford the high house prices. Now the ANC govt, with the support of the DA and most of the Cosatu and SACP leaders, have set aside R17 bn more of public funds to bail out the international gangsters, the main international banks.

 

At the same time, all the ANC-DA alliance has to ‘offer’ workers is a 4.5%, a wage cut- all prices of food, electricity, transport, etc, go up all the time but when the capitalists, the imperialists call, they are given a blank cheque. (The mediator is offering 6.5% but even this is an insult to workers. The lowering of workers demands to 11.5% from an already low 18% demand shows that the Samwu leaders are not serious about launching a real fight in defence of workers’ demands; all municipal workers should start setting up independent strike committees, uniting all workers, irrespective of which if they are Samwu or Imatu, or whether unionised or not, casual or permanent, directly working for the municipality or working for a labour broker; There should be mass strike committees and mass meetings before and during any possible strike- there should be mass participation in the negotiations and mass marches on the negotiating venues. These are all to counter the leaders watering down the demands and changing workers’ mandate.

 

The municipal and public sector workers are in a weak position as they do not directly produce like the industrial workers do; a sustained fight for their demands must therefore involve solidarity with the rest of the industrial working class;

 

The tearing up (expiry of contracts) is a tool used by the bosses in the USA to smash working class organization- this is now being imported by the ANC govt into the municipal negotiations. Yet, the Cosatu and SACP leaders still justify that workers be in alliance with the pro-capitalist government;

 

The state is trying to force cutbacks on the municipal workers- the only way to launch a real defence is through a general strike- if the ANC-DA alliance succeeds in tearing up the hard won gains of workers in the municipal sector, all other sectors will face the same fate at the hands of big capital; it is time for workers to totally discard multi-year agreements- even one year is too long- wages should go up whenever prices go up

The state is handing over R3 trillion to Anglo American and other big capital- yet they have no plan for houses for all, there is no plan for basic infrastructure for all the masses- the infrastructure scam is there to make Anglo American and others exploit the working class more efficiently;

Since the days of apartheid and every year since 1994, the ANC-SACP govt has allowed Anglo American and other big capital take out 20% of GDP every year through ‘transfer pricing’ (this is where Anglo exports goods but states their value at far less than what the real level is- currently R600bn stolen every year), without paying tax on it, this is besides another R600 bn + in profits that are taken out of the country every year- yet the working class is expected to tighten the belt and take wage cuts, cuts in services, closure of schools, collapse of clinics (Panado centres) and public hospitals, to survive in collapsing RDP brick shacks.

 

In this life and death struggle, the working class needs to unite to expropriate Anglo American and all monopoly capital, without compensation, and to place all these assets under workers control- this is not the Mandela-Mbeki-Zuma-Malema-type of nationalization which is just awarding a section of the black elite a bigger share in the continued exploitation of the masses by big capital- no to 10%, 20% or even 50%- there should be 100% nationalization, without compensation to the capitalists (they have stolen far more than the ‘value’ of their assets)- these must be placed under workers control

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To lead such a fight, we need to start preparation for a general strike involving all workers, irrespective of being in a union or not, irrespective of being permanent or casual, local or ‘immigrant’.

 

The youth and the working class in Chile are demanding the expropriation of the copper mines which are controlled by Anglo American. The masses in Chile have been on the march for about a year now. Even the workers in the USA are starting to wake up. 30 000 marched in New York on Mayday under the call for a general strike. [it is illegal to call for a general strike in the USA]. The slogan of ‘we are all Americans’ is now fading- most of the masses in the USA support the Occupy Wall Street movement- they realize that the 99% is being exploited by the 1%, the capitalist class. In North Africa and the Middle East the masses have risen up and overthrown old dictator regimes; the Saudi regime and others have been forced to give $100 bn to the masses to prevent a revolution. The masses in Greece have had repeated general strikes against the capitalist attacks. Let us draw the lessons from all of their struggles and take the path of mass resistance to end this system of capitalism once and for all.

 

Recall all the pro-capitalist leaders of Cosatu!

No to the bail out of the IMF!

Break the alliance with the ANC-SACP govt

Forward to a workers summit to prepare the way for a general strike

Bail out workers through jobs for all at a living wage; away with the 6.5% wage cut

Share the work among all who can work, at no loss of pay

Expropriate Anglo American and other monopolies, without compensation, place these assets under workers control.

 

It is not enough to break the alliance with the govt, but we need an independent revolutionary working class party- WIVP stands ready to help with this fight.

 

Workers International Vanguard Party 28.6.2012 ph 0822020617 workersinternational@gmail.com website www.workersinternational.org.za,

 1st floor, Community House, 41 Salt River rd Salt River 7925 ph 0214476777