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Declaration of the NW Provincial Shop Stewards Council
18 April 2013
We, over 1500 shop stewards of COSATU gathered here in the month of April, the month in which we commemorate the live and times of one of our gallant heroes Chris Hani who fought selflessly to liberate the people of this country and the continent at large.
We have received messages of support from our fraternal structures who all, without contradiction called us to remember Chris Hani and take forward the aspiration that he has struggled for; to be selfless cadres of the movement. They highlighted amongst other the epoch that we are in, that is full of internal challenges in the alliance and the alliance components, the role of the workers in the community, the need for the workers to build community structures and the continued exploitation of the workers by the bourgeoisie.
We received a report on the state of the province which highlighted a number of challenges which if not confronted will lead to a disaster in all our sectors and our movement.
We have noted the state of the alliance and the state of the PEC of the ANC which is on the verge of collapse. The challenges facing the ANC are the challenges that must be confronted jointly as the alliance.
We received the deployment to the ANC 2014 election structures from the BETs to the PET and committed ourselves to continue to campaign for the ANC and ensure that the ANC wins the coming elections with a two-thirds majority. We will deploy resource to make sure that we achieve this victory and make sure that proper leaders are deployed in our government to advance the national democratic revolution which is pro the working class and the poor.
We received a keynote address from the national office bearers through the General Secretary who referred us to the program of action which was adopted by the National Collective Bargaining Organising and Campaigns Conference and the campaign organising conference held in March and he highlighted the following:
- The need to organise the unorganised and continue to organise above the 50% +1 and strive for 100% in all the workplaces in the country
- The need to organise the vulnerable sectors
- The need to continuously service our members
- The need to build the capacity of shop stewards an organisers and to recruit organisers who have capacity to service members
- The need to unite unions and to reduce the fragmentation of the unions as this weakens workers.
- The state of unemployment in the country and the slave wages that those who are employed are earning.
- The social distance between leaders and the members and among the leaders themselves.
- Corruption within the ranks of the federation.
- Solidarity support of the affiliate under attack and the need to reclaim the space that we have lost in the past.
- The demands that are in the section 77 notice on the slow transformation of the economic which is submitted to NEDLAC.
- The call for the legislated national minimum wage
- The call for a comprehensive legislated wall to wall centralised bargaining
- The need to campaign for a forty hour working week in all sectors.
- The comprehensive social wage campaign
- The reengineering the Lula moment
We noted the intervention by the provincial executive of the North West government and we believe the intervention should be meant to stabilise the council and not to deepen the crises in the municipalities as some of the municipalities are now being put under Section 139b for the second time.
We have noted that the rival unions are created by our inability to service the members and the political factions that are created within our movement.
We have noted the current spate of gender related violence that is terrorisms our society and our province is among the high ranking in this kind of crimes.
We have noted the current spate of corruption amongst ourselves and commit to fight it, as no one will take us seriously when we fight corruption in other structures in society and we do not do the same in other structures.
We have noted the state of collapse of the road infrastructure in the province which has led to the premier asking Sanral to intervene on the maintenance of the roads of the province.
The shop stewards council adopted this program coming from the bargaining conference as the minimum program moving forward and committed to use the coming May Day rallies to popularise these campaigns and making sure that our listening campaign program succeeds.
Coming out of this council we commit ourselves to:
1. Work tirelessly to implement the resolutions of the congress and the national bargaining council program.
2. Intensify our program to service the members and defend successfully all the cases of the members at all levels
3. Listen to the challenges of the members through the listening campaign and workplace general meetings.
4. Build the capacity of shop stewards and organisers through vigorous training program.
5. Dedicate the May month for recruitment, organising and servicing members.
6. Take up the campaign to defend the affiliates which are under attack in that:
6.1. The secretariat meeting on17 April 2013 will develop a comprehensive implementation program to take forward the activities of the federation as per the listening campaign program.
6.2. March to Game stores on 16 April 2013 to defend workers who are being attacked and dismissed for participating in the activities of the federation.
6.3. Conduct a walkabout in all the workplaces in Vryburg to listen to challenges of the members and recruit those who are not organised.
6.4. Take forward the campaign to fight against privatisation of public goods through the march to the toll gate on the 19 April 2013 including demanding the reducing of that expensive toll gate.
6.5. March to Impala on 11 May 2013 to continue to fight against the current onslaught the company is carrying out on NUM.
6.6. To unite workers and respect the sectors of each affiliate and stop poaching and counter organising amongst ourselves.
6.7. COSATU must take the issue between NUMSA and NUM up in a proper meeting and that must take place before May Day.
6.8. All our locals and affiliates must make sure that come May Day we are able to make a mark that we are the federation of our late president Barayi and not a federation that is leading itself.
7. Condemn the current spate of attacks on the general secretary which intends to divide the federation; all our affiliates’ leaders must speak with one voice of building a strong COSATU.
8. Campaign for the overwhelming victory of the ANC in the coming 2014 national and provincial elections.
9. Continue to take forward our comprehensive social security campaign as detailed in the collective bargaining conference program.
10. Convene an urgent NDP workshop with all COSATU PECs and our locals to understand all its challenges.
We adopt the program as a minimum program to implement the resolutions of the 11th national congress and working very hard to implement the collective bargaining conference resolution through our listening campaign.
Forward to the unity of the workers!
For more information feel free to call COSATU NW Provincial Secretary, Solly Phetoe, 
Patrick Craven (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street
Tel: +27 11 339-4911 or Direct: +27 10 219-1339
Mobile: +27 82 821 7456