NUMSA commemorates the 100 year anniversary of the Russian Revolution

National Bargaining Conference: Declaration 23-25 April, 2003

30 April 2003, Posted in News

We, the delegates of Numsa, gathered in this National Bargaining Conference for 2003 are mindful of both the complex political and socio-economic issues within our country and the globalisation of the world economy.

The movement towards globalisation which could forge a greater interdependence amongst nations and foster internationalism, has had the reverse effect. The nations of the world are split between rich and poor and between the powerful and the powerless.

Further noting that the war in Iraq will again bring to the fore the geo-politics of oil and gas, which could lead to the domination of the world by a single super-power.

As a result the world will swiftly go through difficult changes, which call into question the existence of global capitalism.

The continuing expansion of the global market is causing serious concern. We believe that unregulated competition drives down working standards and undermines the rights that the working class has won through decades of struggle.

Further noting that global capitalism and its South African representatives will continue to drive down the living standards of the working class through slashing social spending, capital flight, deregulating trade, increasing food inflation, rising retrenchments and unemployment and the ever increasing attempts to make labour more flexible.

In this way the South African economy has to a great extent mirrored the effects of globalisation.

The result of this and the liberalisation and restructuring of state assets is a country with skewed socio-economic development instead of genuine sustainable growth. We note that many workers and the unemployed still live in abject poverty.

The core of the South African Government's macro economic policy, GEAR, is to increase investment. Up to date few direct mechanisms were put in place to increase investment. This lack of investment patterns and the restructuring of both public and private companies has had a profound effect on Numsa members.

Companies have taken advantage of the government's economic strategy to introduce short term contract work, outsourcing, sub-contracting and in particular by introducing labour brokers into the workplace.

This deprives workers of their job security and benefits. Many of our members and other workers are left in a position where they do not participate in the economy as either producers or consumers.

The massive level of poverty in our country, lack of savings combined with exploitative wages and unemployment excludes many from the purchasing of goods and services. The effect of this lack of participation in the economy is a further growth in unemployment as the market for goods remains static and then falls.

Noting that the Growth and Development Summit remains an important forum for frank discussion around a new economic strategy for improving the living standards of the poor and unemployed.

However we are disturbed by the postponement of the Summit and it raises serious doubts and suspicions about the agenda of other stakeholders.

As metalworkers we have noted in this conference the need to mobilise our members at all levels to ensure a successful Summit from a working class perspective.

Numsa remains committed to ensuring that its policies and bargaining strategy protect the interests of its members and to further play a leading role in the eradication of inequalities that exist in and between South Africans.

We further commit ourselves to representing the best interests of the working class generally in South Africa and of forging and strengthening our links with the international working class in order that together we build strategies to challenge international capitalism.

To this end Numsa is committed to ensuring that the demands of this NBC are achieved and will from this conference begin the process of mobilising our members to defend and win at this round of negotiations, decent working conditions, improved wages, HIV/Aids drugs, increased job security including the eradication of labour brokers, training and ending discrimination including sexual discrimination in the workplace.


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