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Shopsteward Volume 27: Special Bulletin

COSATU Media Monitor COSATU Media Monitor COSATU Media Monitor


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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements


The COSATU Executive Committee met on Friday, 24 May 1996 in its second ordinary meeting of the year.

Below are some of the decisions taken by the Executive Committee.


We reaffirm our commitment to participate in the structures aimed at developing consensus on national issues facing our country. It would appear though as if other parties have a different ideological understanding of the role of NEDLAC. This is a structure that brings together different parties with different and conflicting views. We are willing to negotiate and to reach consensus on issues placed on the agenda. We reject the notion that we should not develop positions but merely go to listen to business and government and respond with no mandated positions canvassed broadly within our structures.

When the NEDLAC secretariat released a document titled framework for social partnership, the press applauded since they saw this as raising issues that need to be addressed through consensus, the same approach was adopted with regard to the S.A. Foundation document. It was only when labour placed its document that we are being told that we are polarising the country. This is rubbish and we reject it with the contempt that it deserves.

The Social Equity document is on the table and require a response. We will not allow anyone to sideline it in favour of some yet to be drafted "neutral" document.

A lot have been said about labour's commitment to NEDLAC and the delays we are supposed to be causing. If the truth can be told, we have bent over backwards to stick to deadlines. Where it is not possible to do so due to the need to consult we indicate to the other parties. The fact that they choose to ignore them is non of our business. The same applies to the CCMA governing body and salaries. We gave our name in time and indicated that despite our objections on salaries, they can go ahead but record our positions


All the resolutions of the Living Wage Conference held on the 19-20 April 1996 and the National Women Conference were ratified by the EXCO as mandated by the March 1996 CEC. We attach copies of the resolution for information of the press

3. Social Equity

The EXCO agreed that affiliates should continue to discuss and popularise the document. Affiliates will also approach the 58 companies for full disclosure of their CEO's salaries. We urge the government to ensure that tax payers money is not used by Transnet, Escom and Telkom to further the S.A. Foundation positions which are diametrically opposed to those of the government and the new democracy.

4. Implementation of the NFA

The EXCO noted the fact no meeting of the six a side have taken place since the signing of the NFA. It was agreed that we need to prepare our sectoral positions in all of the task forces set up by labour. The resources made available by the government should be used to develop options capable of implementation in line with the RDP objectives.

It was further agreed that an alliance meeting is necessary prior to these meeting to ensure that policies remain in line with our broad vision.

On the comments by the President on privatisation, the meeting agreed that we should not allow the reactionary forces to push us into a slanging match with the President or the ANC since this will only help to justify their wish for a split in the alliance. Instead we should focus on the NFA implementation as well as meeting with the ANC to clarify these matters. In any case the President has already indicated his intention to discuss with us this issue. We remain available for such a meeting.

5. Interest Rate Increament

The EXCO rejects and condemns the collusion by banks to unilaterally increase the interest rates. Not only have they committed a crime, but they are further making it impossible for workers and the poor to afford housing. Companies that rely on overdrafts may also be forced to lay off workers. This is tantamount to privatisation of the monetary policies.

In this instance we will lay a formal charge with the police and seek a meeting with the banks to call on them to drop the increase.

We will also mobilise our members and the community through their organisations to join us in this move. The EXCO further resolved to embark on marches against the banks on Saturday the 06th of July 1996. We hope that the banks will realise their folly and reverse their positions.

We call on all South Africans to support this action. This action and date will be further discussed with the aforementioned progressive organisations including a one week boycott of the banks We will also adjust our wage demands to take on board this latest increase. When this happens the banks will have to accept the blame and responsibility.


6.1 Communication Workers Union

The EXCO welcomed the merger of POTWA, PEASA and SAPTEA.

The EXCO felt that it has no constitutional power to accept the application for affiliation of the new Communication Workers Union. The EXCO invites the Communications Workers Union as observers to all COSATU structure until the September 1996 CEC takes a decision of their application.


The EXCO acting on a CEC mandate accepted the application for affiliation by the 14000 South African Public Service Association.


On the march by T&GWU against the privatisation of the public owned passenger transport as proposed in the green paper, the EXCO pledges its support to the T&GWU demands.

The EXCO supported the National Congress of T&GWU on the decision to embark on mass action on the 02 July 1996.

The EXCO call on our members to within their own capabilities lend solidarity.


The EXCO decided to undertake a campaign in defence of the constitution and democracy. In this instance our lawyers have been briefed to put together a team of constitutional and labour lawyers headed by Dennis Davis.

Workers and the public will be asked to sign a petition in support of the constitution as adopted by the C.A. to be submitted together with the rest of our arguments. The EXCO welcomes the position taken by both NAFCOC and FABCOS to distance themselves from the attempt by white business to deny our people the constitution and democracy.


The EXCO reaffirmed its commitment to back the ANC in the Local Government Elections in the Cape Metro and KwaZulu Natal.

Affiliates leadership to be deployed in the regions to mobilise for the ANC victory.



The EXCO noted the update report on Swaziland as outlined in the EXCO by the SFTU General Secretary and President. Our affiliates will be discussing how to concretise solidarity action agreed earlier.

27 May 1996

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Nowetu Mpati COSATU Head of Communications

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