Why the government refuses
to grant the 12% increase
That official inflation has now reached 6.3% means that already the wage demand of workers of 12% is too little, and amounts to a wage cut. The 12% demand of the workers would amount to only R10 Billion extra per year, yet the government refuses to grant this. They prefer to give most of the R80 Billion (from the recent years of over collection of tax) back to the capitalists and upper middle class. If the government can easily afford to meet the 12% demand of workers, why are they being so stubborn?
The government is obeying their capitalist masters
A 12% increase by the government would immediately be a benchmark for the rest of the working class. This means that the monopoly capitalists in the private sector would be forced to give similar increases to workers. Quite simply, this will mean less profits. The monopoly capitalists, who are all linked to international capital (imperialism), are so used to making super-profits that any threat to this would be seriously opposed. The capitalists do not care if the protracted strike means deaths of patients, shooting of strikers or mass dismissals; as long as their massive profit levels are protected. It is thus imperative that the entire working class stand in solidarity with the public sector strike.
Stayaway vs take-over
We wish to raise concern over the tactic of the current organized stayaway from schools. We feel that a takeover of the schools by parents, teachers and students and the running of awareness programmes (real liberatory education) is far better. Firstly, it unites the working class with teachers and students; secondly it poses the question as to who should really be controlling schools and indeed the state; thirdly, with a stayaway not only are teachers divided but more opportunities are presented to the state to put the working class and students against the teachers.
The questionable role of the SACP
Key SACP leaders are playing a counter-revolutionary role in the strike: Fraser- Moleketi bashing the unions; Nqakula unleashing the police, shooting and arresting strikers; Kasrils- harassment of strikers by the NIA. Surely these actions are incompatible with membership of a Communist party? The tolerance of anti-working class attacks by leaders of their party raises a serious question mark over the class role of the SACP. This raises and emphasizes the Communist principle of the right of instant recall of any leadership which appears to be absent from the ranks of the SACP.
A sliding scale of wages
In opposition to multi-year agreements that the state and the capitalist class want, we say that workers should demand a sliding scale of wages. This means that if the prices go up, then wages go up, even if this happens in periods of less than one year. How else can workers ensure that their living standards are not constantly declining?
Forward to the broadest working class solidarity with the public sector strike!
Down with the government's defence of capitalist interests!
Forward to work for all at a living wage!