The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) congratulates its affiliated union, the National Union of Mineworkers on reaching an impressive milestone of 40years of leading workers struggles. Happy Anniversary to all the members and leaders of the union.
The NUM is a pioneering union that was a founder affiliate of COSATU. It was also at the forefront of shaking the foundations of the Apartheid regime after waging a miner’s strike in 1987 when the country was experiencing a state security onslaught.
The 1987 three-week strike saw about 300 000 workers coming out on strike. This was significant because the Apartheid economy was also struggling under the sanctions that were imposed on the country.
The union was able to link its shopfloor issues with societal issues and that has been the legacy of NUM before after the 1994 democratic breakthrough.
The NUM is one of the unions that form the backbone of our federation. It has produced quality leaders at all levels and some of them have gone to serve the Alliance and the country in different capacities.
The union has been exemplary in waging strikes and negotiating better wages and conditions for workers in the mining, construction, energy, and metal sectors.
The NUM’s effort of self-correction and renewal is inspiring and provides a template for other unions and alliance formations, on what it means to practice what you preach.
The leadership on the NUM deserve credit for building a vibrant democratic union that has the confidence of workers.
COSATU will continue to walk side by side with NUM as we wage battle on behalf of its members and the working class.
Happy 40th Anniversary to the NUM!
Long Live NUM Long Live!
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794