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COSATU Today | COSATU Press Statements
POPCRU Collective Bargaining Conference Outcomes as held on 7-9th May 2010 at Orion Devonshire Hotel, Braamfontein
The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) has successfully held its Collective Bargaining Conference on the 07-09th May 2010 at Orion Devonshire, Braamfontein in which more than 140 delegates across all Provinces inclusive of all Negotiators from the South Africa Police Services, Correctional Services and Traffic Departments in all Collective Bargaining Structures. The Conference was convened under the Theme;”Striving for quality living standards and working conditions through effective service delivery”.
The conference amongst others debated on the Medical Aid Schemes, National Health Insurance and the transformation of these schemes to serve the working class; Review of Collective Bargaining Structures within the Criminal Justice Cluster, Outstanding matters in relation to the PSCBC Res.1/2007 and the Nationalization of the Traffic Departments across all Provinces.
POPCRU, as the largest and the biggest Progressive Trade Union in the Justice Cluster with more than 140 000 membership reiterated the importance of mobilizing, organizing and fighting for workers’ rights in this sector in particular, and continue to consolidate the working class power in the country in general. The conference reaffirmed a contention that labour is an important commodity that cannot be undermined by the employers.
The President of POPCRU, Cde Zizamele in his opening address reaffirmed that “POPCRU has grown tremendously since its inception in 1989 and that any organization that fails to be relevant to the aspirations and interests of its membership will die a natural death”. He urged all members to continue to negotiate for acceptable agreements on behalf of the membership in all Councils were sitting.
He further urged all delegates to continue to assert the working class power on all sites of our struggles inclusive of our police stations, testing stations and prisons wherein we are organizing, and to consolidate, build, nurture and preserve COSATU for future generations by “Deepening Workers Class Power, Advance the struggles for decent Work and Ban Labour Brokers” as per COSATU 2010 May Day Slogan.
In his closing address POPCRU President, Cde Cebekhulu said “As POPCRU we must continue to strive for a better life for our members and if we fail to do that, history will judge us harshly. Karl Marx said “History does nothing, it does not possess immense riches and it does not fight battles. It is men, real, living, who do all this”.
All Councils in which we are sitting on behalf of our membership should be respected as our sites of struggle and appropriate platforms to enhance better working conditions and benefits for our membership”.
He also expressed that as POPCRU we cannot bargain forever, there must be a limit in bargaining and therefore we must realign our negotiation program in a such a manner that we are able to bargain for a short period and if that does not succeed, the necessary steps must be taken to ensure finality of negotiations and this include deadlocking and process that follow thereafter.
He indicated that it is important to ensure that when negotiators bargain on behalf of the organization, they must always put the aspirations of members first and as a priority and do not allow a situation where POPCRU will be perceived as ‘lapdog’ of Management.
He further indicated that the fact that we have 20 years of burning the flame of the struggle will mean nothing to our members if what we do in the present does not benefit our members. He stressed that all Councils that we negotiate in must be respected and that negotiators must not use bargaining platforms as a place to position themselves for promotion or higher positions in the sector we organize in.
He finally said “As POPCRU our tenacity and 20 years heritage have proved that we are a force to be reckoned with. All Councils in which we are sitting on behalf of our membership should be respected as our sites of struggle and appropriate platforms to enhance better working conditions and benefits for our membership”.
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