NUMSA commemorates the 100 year anniversary of the Russian Revolution

NUMSA to attend the Labour Department hearings into the National Minimum Wage today

9 November 2017, Posted in Press Releases

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) will be attending the briefing sessions which will be hosted by the Department of Labour into the National Minimum Wage (NMW) as well as proposed changes to the Labour Law legislation.

The information sessions will be held from 10 am Thursday 9th November 2017 in Johannesburg at the Turffontein Race Course.

Below are NUMSA’s reasons for rejecting the NMW:
1. We are not opposed to the NMW in principle. We are opposed to the amount of R3500 which translates to a mere R20 per hour. The NMW in its current form has been set at a very low rate and therefore perpetuates the historical and continuing Apartheid capitalist legacy of the super exploitation of Black and African labour. Its goal is to re-inforce inequality by ensuring a pool of cheap African labour which can be exploited by Capital.

2. The miners of Marikana were massacred by the state for demanding a living wage of only R12500 per month. Their demands were justifiable and reasonable given that for the last 23 years this government has failed to improve basic living and working conditions for the working class majority. Furthermore, as the creators of wealth in the economy, miners, like all workers deserve a living wage which will allow them to raise their families with dignity.  The majority of workers continue suffer as they did under Apartheid, under the burden of poverty, unemployment and extreme inequality

3. The StatsSA Labour Market Dynamics Survey showed that the average South African worker earned an average of R4400 per month, which in itself was very low in 2012. But thanks to Deputy President Cyril ‘McBuffalo’ Ramaphosa of the ANC, who has been championing this legislation, workers will be earning even less than this if implemented.

4. In the sectors in which NUMSA organizes such as the auto and engineering sectors, workers earn almost twice as much as the NMW as a minimum rate. This is because the working class has fought long, hard bitter battles to improve wages as well as the basic working conditions. NUMSA views the proposal as an attack on the working class. But we are not surprised, after all Cyril ‘McBuffalo’ was the owner of McDonalds in South Africa which is famous for the ‘McJob’, which by definition is a low paying job with few prospects.

Cyril ‘McBuffalo’ has abused his trade union credentials in order to become a filthy rich capitalist, and he is pushing for the exploitation of the working class. NUMSA had proposed that the NMW should be sector based so that workers who are earning above the minimum threshold don’t suffer as a result of its implementation. The impact of implementing it as it is, is that those workers who earn above the minimum threshold will eventually lose their jobs, in order to be replaced by a younger workforce which will be exploited at a rate of R20 per hour

Furthermore we reject the proposed Accord and Code of Good Practice which has been signed by sell out trade union federations NACTU, FEDUSA and COSATU. The Accord states that we are against violence, intimidation and that we are committed to ensuring that we do not damage property when we go on strike.  We reject this Accord because it is based on a racist belief that African workers are violent, without acknowledging that Capitalism as a system is brutal on the working class. Also all strike action is guided by the legislation through picketing rules and therefore there is absolutely no reason to change from this existing practice.

Legislation in order to impose a limitation on the right to strike has also been proposed. Again workers have Cyril ‘McBuffalo’ to thank for trampling on their democratic right to withdraw their labour. He colluded with yellow trade union federations like COSATU, FEDUSA and NACTU to make it harder for workers to go on strike when fighting against the exploitation of the bosses.

We remain very resolute that the right to strike is constitutional. We will reject this attempt to undermine our rights in the streets and we will challenge it in the court of law as it attacks workers’ right to strike by a government which has refused and failed to introduce a National Minimum Wage that delivers a living wage in the best interest of the South African working class and their families.

Aluta continua!
The struggle continues!
Issued by Phakamile Hlubi
NUMSA National Spokesperson (Acting)