NUMSA press release 21 March 2018
The National Union of Metalworker of South Africa (NUMSA) is calling on all workers to embark on a general strike on the 25th of April 2018 to defend the right to strike. On the 1st of May this year the state intends to implement a raft of new changes to the labour laws. One of the changes is the state intends to impose secret ballots as a condition before we can go on strike. The balloting process is complicated, costly and cumbersome. If implemented, it will make it impossible for workers to go on strike. NUMSA is part of a coalition of 21 pro-working class movements who have rejected the proposed changes to the labour law.
At least 5 thousand workers took to the streets on Human Rights Day to remind the ANC government that ‘Workers Rights are Human Rights’. We handed over a memorandum of demands to the Department of Labour. Our primary demand is that the new labour laws which are to be implemented on Workers Day must be scrapped!
Below are some of our demands:
- Scrap the New labour laws, they are an attack on workers and their families.
- Scrap the amendments on strike ballots, picketing rules, longer conciliation and compulsory arbitration.
- Restore the right of workers to strike over things like unfair dismissal (disputes of rights).
- Bosses must not be able to use scab labour/’amagundwane’ during protected strikes. They use these tools to undermine our strike.
- Unions must organize the majority of workers in a sector before bargaining council agreements can be extended to non-unionized workers in the sector.
These laws will be applied to all workers in South Africa, but the majority of workers were not consulted. The state only consulted the leadership of FEDUSA; NACTU and COSATU who form part of NEDLAC. The leadership of these unions sold out their members and workers and their families for political expediency.
NUMSA will work with #ScrapNewLabourLaws coalition to mobilize every worker in the country about the negative impact of the labour laws. The only power we have to negotiate improved working and living conditions is our right to strike. NUMSA is calling on every worker to join the coalition and join us as we embark on a national general strike to shut down the economy on the 25th of April, 2018. It is only through the unity of all workers that we will have the power to fight back against the state’s unrelenting attack on our hard won rights.
The struggle continues!
Issued by Karl Cloete
NUMSA Deputy General Secretary