The Congress of South African Trade Unions in the KZN Province is deeply concerned by the appalling level of retrenchments, in the telecommunications sector, retail and other sectors of the economy.
This can be traced from the unhelpful rhetoric of our government at a national level around the issue of retrenchments. These conflicting messages from government have emboldened the business sector and the other layers of government to not just explore but to move ahead with job destroying solutions to the economic crisis.
The time and money spent on convening Investment Forums and Jobs Summit is looking like a wasteful expenditure right now. In the province of KwaZulu Natal,this has seen government departments and municipalities taking the lead in destroying jobs through retrenchments.
The Newcastle municipality has dismissed more than 220 workers and about 15 and 14 workers have been suspended by the Langalibalele and Ugu municipalities respectively. The Department of Health in the Forensic Unit has dismissed about 36 workers.
The offensive against workers is gaining momentum in KZN and the Federation is being compelled to prepare for a pushback strategy.
Our efforts to use dialogue to resolve these matters are so far failing to yield the desired positive results and we are therefore being forced to prepare for a battle of survival. We plan to implement the CEC decision of working with other federations and affiliated unions to fight the intransigent employers.
We still hope that the planned Provincial Job Summit will deal with substantive and real issues and will not just be another wasteful talk shop that will ignore the ongoing jobs bloodbath in the province, while committing to grandiose ideas with no implementation plan.
While, we will not abandon the process of engagement, we are now busy setting up meetings with all federations and workers in general to confront these delinquent employers through a rolling mass action. We will be visiting each and every one of these workplaces and will start by organising pickets every Fridays to mobilise and agitate for a massive strike.
Realising that these retrenchments will affect the economy and communities, we also plan to engage all other progressive civil society organisations to make a stand and prepare for a total shutdown of the identified workplaces.
The message to workers is organize & unite or starve.
Issued by COSATU KZN
For enquiries contact:
COSATU KZN Provincial Secretary
082 399 7756 or 076 522 8839