Cosatu leaders trash the municipal workers, the contract cleaners and the rest of the working class

At the recent Cosatu CEC the leaders condemned workers who were ‘trashing’ the cities. The leaders have turned their back on the strikers. Who have been trashing the cities and the working class for hundreds of years? The capitalist class! Millions of workers live in squalor in squatter camps for many years while the capitalist class live in huge mansions. Every year the capitalist class takes hundreds of billions of Rands in profits offshore. These profits are made off the backs of permanently keeping the masses in squalor and starvation. Although there is enough material to solve the housing crisis overnight, the ANC-SACP government trashes the working class by refusing to build enough housing- they prefer to make the capitalists rich by guaranteeing them hundreds of billions of Rands in profit in food, housing, electricity, health, transport, etc. Of this institutionalized trashing of the working class the Cosatu leaders keep silent.


The Cosatu leaders also condemned strikers for damaging capitalist property during the metal and chemical strikes. Property, ie the riches of the capitalist class, gained by trashing workers, must be respected they said. The ANC government organised police escorts of petrol tankers that contributed to breaking the back of the chemical strike. In the end the chemical sector workers had to accept a measly 7%. The ANC government trashed the strikers but now the Cosatu leaders want workers to celebrate 100 years of the ANC! This is an insult to the working class.


Food prices go up every week, electricity increases by 25-31% every year, the petrol price has doubled but Cosatu leaders leave the Samwu strikers isolated when they demand 18%, leaves the contract cleaners isolated when they demand a double-digit increase. The same US and UK banks control the food, construction, mining, ‘local’ banks and really every sector of the economy, but the Cosatu leaders refused to call a general strike to unite the working class against the high cost of living imposed by these international banks. The Cosatu leaders leave the workers to fight on their own, sector by sector, thus dividing the resistance of the working class. Only in the metal and mining were workers strong enough to win temporary concessions. The public sector union leaders have betrayed their base by settling for 6.8%, without a fight. The Satawu and Imatu leaders chased Samwu strikers away from their marches- the bosses are full of praise for their sweetheart Cosatu and Imatu leaders.


We do not agree with those Samwu Gauteng workers who did not come out on strike because they had disagreements with the Cosatu leaders. This has further weakened the municipal strike. The contract cleaners are all working for labour brokers- there should have been a solidarity general strike in support of them and the municipal strikers. We need to deal politically with the Cosatu leaders who betray the working class. The alliance of Cosatu with the ANC and SACP means that the Cosatu leaders are the chief shopstewards of the big bosses within the ranks of the workers movement. It is time to break this alliance that trashes the working class. Let us start mobilising to break this alliance with big capital and to kick out the current leaders who are in the pockets of the bosses. We need a revolutionary working class party that unites activists in the communities with those in the unions, that unites the employed and unemployed, that immediately strives to be part of an international fraction of the working class that fights to end the world capitalist system.


The bosses are preparing to continue with increasing prices even further and with a new round of mass retrenchments. The current Cosatu leaders have shown that they will act to block, weaken and divide workers resistance. These leaders must go. We need a workers summit that unites delegates from the employed and unemployed, irrespective if unionised or not, permanent or casual, local or immigrant, the worker and rank and file soldier, to prepare the way for a general strike in defence of workers demands to take real control of the commanding heights of the economy. Not merely a 1 day symbolic action on 5th October 2011 against labour brokers to strike a deal with big capital and the ANC to have casualization continue. Forward to the refounding of the Fourth International! Forward to Socialism!

29.8.2011. Workers International Vanguard League, 1st Floor, Community House, 41 Salt River rd, Salt River 7925. ph 021 4476777 ph 0822020617 email website