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COSATU Today | Affiliates Press Statements
CEPPWAWU Calls For Total Shutdown Against Privatisation, Retrenchment and Imperialism
11 February 2019
The Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union (CEPPWAWU) an affiliate of COSATU, has taken note of the recent developments both domestically and internationally ranging from the SONA delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa, some key and disturbing announcements as well as the international situation with respects to Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Venezuela.
It is our considered view as a Union that the ongoing attempts by many neo – liberal sections within our country who continue unabatedly to advance a view that privatization of key State Owned Entities (SOEs) are a necessary step in advancement of our country, falls short of nothing else but the growing resurgence of counter revolutionary forces gaining traction and derailing the National Democratic Revolution (NDR). We are convinced as a Union that the unbundling of Eskom and selling off certain key assets will lead to massive job losses. We are at pains with the attempts to privatize many other SOEs such as Denel, SAA etc. This constitutes a major tactical detour to our strategic objectives as a Nation.
We are now observing the return of old ways of doing things, which we defeated in 2007, this time around they are much more determined, uncompromising and threating us with Ratings Agencies, retrenchments and withholding of investments, to create the army of the unemployed in order to harness cheap labour. ‘…Those that imperialist wish to destroy, they first make unprofitable’!
CEPPWAWU is majorly concerned with attempts to circumvent the labour regime in our country that was hard fought for. As a union we note with a pinch of salt the recent developments with regards to retrenchments and privatization, which goes against the grain of employment and insourcing. As labour we can’t allow a government that we voted for, to willingly permit for retrenchments and privatization to take place without even flinching.
We note as a union the continued trampling of workers’ rights in Swaziland, to deny workers rights is the worst form of backwardness. The events in Zimbabwe are rather unfortunate for the working class and the poor. The hyperinflation has dislocated many working class and proletariat of Zimbabwe. The barbaric conduct of the security force has resulted in the State unleashing its forces unto a defenceless and unarmed working class, this is unacceptable. We call on our government to exert the necessary and appropriate pressure on the Zimbabwean government to release all Union leaders from prison with immediate effect.
CEPPWAWU stands with South African government regarding its stance on the Venezuelan situation, its vehement and unequivocal support of the Maduro government, which was elected by an overwhelming majority of the peoples of Venezuela in the presence of international monitoring agencies including our own in South African observers who declared the election to be free and fair.
As a Union organizing in the Chemicals and Energy sectors we are in Solidarity with workers of Venezuela. We reject any attempts by the imperialist USA and all its reactionary allies and we call on them to desist from tampering with the sovereignty of Venezuela and any other country in the world in the similar manner as other countries do not interfere with the sovereign matters of the USA. We call on progressives around the world to unite in support of the legitimately elected leadership of Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution! “Workers of the World Unite!”
Against this backdrop and noting many other instances of workplace exploitation, like casualisation, outsourcing and labour brokering, therefore the responsibility falls upon all our members and the entire working class to revolt against; Privatization, Retrenchments, Unemployment and Imperialism. All workers must join the protected strike on the 13th February 2019.
All Regions and Locals leadership of CEPPWAWU are directed to coordinate the march with COSATU.
Issued by CEPPWAWU National Office, 11 February 2019
Welile Nolingo, CEPPWAWU General Secretary, 010 206 6600
Musa Bhengu, CEPPWAWU Deputy General Secretary, 011 712 0300