The World Federation of Trade Unions [WFTU] Trade Union International Public Services Workers and Allied [TUI PS & A] successfully hosted on the 11– 12 March 2020 its first directive meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa following its 13th Congress that took place at the city of Larnaca in Cyprus in November 2019.

The directive committee is the leading regulatory body of the TUI in between congresses was convened under the theme “Working people of all countries unite”.

The meeting discussed the status of public services globally in the light of the increasing attacks by the capitalist class on public service workers and the intention to reverse workers hard won gains. In this regard, the TUI will campaign vigorously against slave wages, agentification, non-compliance with Occupational Health and Safety [OHS] standards and the dismantling of collective bargaining agreements by employers.

The TUI emerges from the directive meeting more invigorated to fight against imperialism, women and immigrants issues, union bashing and anti-union labour policy, and privatisation. The directive meeting prompted the TUI to prioritise the issue of privatisation and demand an end of privatisation of public services. Our stance against the privatisation of public services is the centre-piece of our programme of action. Taking into account our countries peculiarities, we shall embark on mass mobilisation and protest actions against the privatisation on the 75th anniversary celebrations of WFTU International Day of Action from the 3rd October and around.

The directive meeting took place while the entire world is battling the novel coronavirus [COVID-19]. The TUI PS & A paid homage to workers across the world who goes beyond the call of duty in life-threatening situations to save the lives of many. The virus continues to cause instability and disruptions across the world. The directive meeting pledges solidarity with all affected especially in the People’s Republic of China.

State-led response strategy with collective and coordinated efforts is needed between all relevant stakeholders to combat the spread of the virus and treat those who are infected.

The spread of the coronavirus has led to shutdowns in workplaces, threatening jobs, worsening the living conditions and destabilising the livelihoods of the working class.

The TUI Public Service & Allied calls on all its affiliates and members to demand the following:

·       That all governments must implement the World Health Organisation’s consolidated package of preparedness and response to the Coronavirus.

·       The training of all frontline workers at ports of entry in handling the movement of people and cases of the affected individuals.

·       Provision of personal protective equipment to all exposed workers working at the ports of entry.

·       Training of all relevant staff in handling coronavirus and COVID-19 disease, including on all the necessary clinical protocols that must be followed in all healthcare centres.

The directive meeting noted that the humanitarian crisis caused by the coronavirus comes at a time of an underlying capitalist crisis and imperialist wars. The crisis will aggravate mass displacement and migration affecting millions of people. In this regard, The TUI PS & A condemns the US government and the European Union on their inhumane treatment of refugees and immigrants.

It calls for the respect of the rights of refugees under international conventions, the abolition of the Dublin Regulation and the EU-Turkey agreement, the closure of all prison camps for refugees and migrants. Foreign armies should have no participation, support or involvement in NATO, US and EU actions and operations in the Middle East region that support Turkey’s invasion of Syria and interventions that perpetuates war and disaster in Libya and Palestine.

The meeting also take place against the background of a downward spiral in capitalist stock markets especially in the oil market because of US aggression in Iran and the US incited trade war with China. The aggression of the US has led to turmoil in many countries especially in Latin America. The illegal and barbaric economic blockade of Cuba and the interference in the affairs of Venezuela has undermined the sovereignty of those countries and has led to huge financial loses.

The TUI Public Service & Allied also pledges solidarity to the people of Palestine in their resistance against the Zionist occupation by US-backed apartheid Israel. In this regard, the TUI will deepen solidarity with the Palestinian struggle to end the Israeli occupation and towards the goal of an independent sovereign Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The Directive Committee will implement its four year platform, through national and regional activities. In this regard, all TUI PS & Allied affiliates and organisations shall involve members at their workplaces and communities in different types of events.

In addition, the Directive Committee passed the following resolutions:

  • To step up the mobilisation of women workers as part of the broader programme of the WFTU to advance collective workers’ rights and to take up issues of women, ethnic minorities, youth, children and migrants.
  • The Directive Committee also pledges its solidarity with the struggle of civil servants in Peru against the Emergency Decrees 014-20 and 016-20 which are harmful to workers and erode trade union rights.

The directive meeting took place while the World Federation of Trade Union is celebrating its 75years of existence. The TUI will mark the WFTU 75th anniversary celebrations with seminars, music, cultural events and demonstrations organised in all regions and continents as determined by the local conditions and traditions. Some of the celebrations will take the following form in the different continents:

  • French speaking Africa to organise a regional conference in July 2020 in Kinshasa, DRC to address high level migration in the
  • PASYYEK will collaborate with the federation of PEO to host the international event on the 2nd of October to honour the 75th anniversary of WFTU.
  • PASYEK will organise a seminar about the history and action of WFTU since its establishment.
  • As part of the WFTU 75th anniversary celebrations, PASYEK will host between 60 to 80 children coming from special schools as well as children who are under the care of the Welfare State Services.
  • PASYEK will also organise a cultural event (theatre performance) honouring the 75 years of WFTU.
  • An anti-privatisation national forum in the French speaking Africa region on 03rd October.
  • In Latin American region, a seminar on the WFTU and anniversary on 28-29 August 2020
  • Egypt, seminars, events, training for class orientation against collaboration.
  • Portugal, demonstration on anti-privatisation and WFTU anniversary celebration.

The TUI invites all public service unions throughout the world to join the class oriented trade union movement under the WFTU.

Issued by the World Federation of Trade Unions [WFTU] Trade Union International Public Services Workers and Allied [TUI PS & A] General Secretary For more information contact: Zola Saphetha [General Secretary] at 082 558 5968 or Khaya Xaba [NEHAWU National Spokesperson] at 082 455 2500 or Email: khaya@nehawu.org.za