NUMSA commemorates the 100 year anniversary of the Russian Revolution


26 July 2012, Posted in Press Releases


On behalf of the 255 000 National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) membership and Numsa National Office Bearers, we bring revolutionary greetings to the membership of the Korean Metalworkers Union (KMWU).

As always, NUMSA is inspired by the militancy and steadfast conviction of the KMWU leadership with its members to confront the logic, exploitation and brutality of Capital on a daily basis.

We want to salute the courageous efforts of KMWU to bring a better life for metalworkers in South Korea.

We want to specifically congratulate KMWU in its victory to secure an agreement with Kiryung Electronics on 1 November 2010 whereby precarious workers were permanently employed.

This is a victory not only for Korean workers but an important triumph for all casualized and temporary workers across the world.
In our country, COSATU with all its affiliates are in a serious engagement with government and business to ban the use of labour brokers.
Labour brokers represent modern slavery whereby the unemployed in our society are brought into employment as temporary workers, underpaid, with no benefits and very easily dismissed.

Whilst we are negotiating with our government to ban labour brokers, NUMSA has been able to use the 2010 annual wage negotiations with car manufacturing companies to achieve an agreement with industry bosses to remove Labour brokers from the car manufacturing industry.

In the battle for improved wages and conditions of employment NUMSA took a conscious decision in our 2010 collective bargaining with employers to demand increases above the country’s inflation rate.

Our opening demand was an increase of 20% which employers regarded as unreasonable given the global recession but through strike action in the car manufacturing, tyre industry and motor retail industry NUMSA members secured an average wage increase of 10% in the context of our country’s inflation being at 4.3%.

Capitalist crises:

We are meeting at a time when the G20 are convening in your country to deliberate on how to deal with their own manufactured capitalist crises.

We must salute the South Korean trade union movement under the leadership of KCTU for having brought unions from across the world to act in solidarity to protest and campaign against the exploitation of the working class and the deepening levels of unemployment inequalities and poverty across the world.

Capitalism is inherently a system that produces and re-produces crises. In defining the characteristics of the recent capitalist financial crises, the South African Communist

Party analysed capitalist crises as follows;
“The cyclical pattern of booms and busts are systemically linked to the fact that capitalism
– unlike socialism or earlier forms of production – is essentially production for exchange (and therefore private profit) and not for social use. In other forms of production (not least socialism)– over-production of goods would, in principle, usually be a cause for celebration, but under capitalism "over-production" (i.e. more than the market demands – i.e. more than can profitably be sold) triggers a break-down in the system – a crisis of over-accumulation.

This, in turn, requires a massive wave of destruction of productive capacity (in the form of retrenchments, factory closures, liquidations, and stock exchange collapses), in order to "clear the ground" for the next round of capital accumulation through growth.

It must be stressed that under capitalism "over-production" is not the over-production of products that the mass of the world's population often desperately needs.

It is "over-production" relative to "market demand", i.e. relative to what can profitably be sold.[1] Capitalism, for all its dynamism and robustness, is a profoundly irrational system.”

It is in this regard that we join progressive and revolutionary formations of the working class and the poor all over the world to struggle for another world that is possible and that represents an alternative to Capitalism. In NUMSA and COSATU we firmly believe that a Socialist alternative is the answer to the suffering and misery that humanity finds itself in today.

In conclusion:

As NUMSA and COSATU representatives here present we wish you well in your struggles for decent work and a living wage. We shall in solidarity support all your struggles for the emancipation of the working class.

We concur with the demands of the campaign that "Our World is Not for Sale" (OWINFS) which demands;

a change in the economic model, which implies putting an end to neo-liberalism and moving towards a new model based on systemic change and for the benefit and well-being of all peoples in the world (rather than corporate profits), including the adoption of bold economic strategies to create decent jobs, as well as a new international financial architecture;
– a halt to market based “solutions” for climate change and the anti-democratic Copenhagen Accord (a clear step backwards from the positive aspects of the Kyoto Protocol), and the immediate adoption of profound changes to our current system of production, distribution and consumption;
– an end to a global food system based on price speculation by agribusiness corporations and its replacement by a system of food production and distribution that supports small farmers and promotes food sovereignty;
– a suspension of trade negotiations at the WTO and of bi-regional or bilateral free trade and investment regimes until a new international agreement has been reached on trade and investment rules based on truly just and sustainable development for all.

Please receive our best wishes in the battle ahead of us.

Loving Live the Spirit of No Surrender
Long Live the Metalworkers of Korea

Message delivered by: Karl Cloete – NUMSA Deputy General Secretary


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