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The time has come for workers to set aside their differences. A 5 year or even a 2 year agreement will spell disaster for the working class. The mediator’s offer, of a 0,5% increase above inflation for the second and third year of the agreement, will mean massive suffering for the workers. The government has a plan, called inflation targeting. This means they want to manipulate official inflation to come down to 3% by next year! This means that the wage increase will be only 3,5% for the next 2 years. We all know food inflation is actually closer to 15-20%. Workers spend more money on food than the bosses, who spend their money on luxuries. Inflation for the bosses is 7,5% but for workers it is closer to 15%. Clothing workers are already suffering from linking their increase to inflation. This year is the second year of their agreement and the bosses are offering only 1% as an increase! Their union is only demanding 6% because they agreed the maximum increase for this year will be 6%. Now they may have to go on strike just to get a below-inflation increase!

We also need to draw the lessons from the past attacks by the bosses [including the VWSA and Mercedes Benz mass dismissals]:

Let us look at the example of how the workers from NUM, NUMSA and MWU joined hands to defeat the government in the strike at Eskom! We call on all workers in the motor sector, irrespective of being OCGAWU, NUMSA or SAWU, whether you are permanent, or contract worker, to unite in action against the attacks by the bosses. The direction of the strike should be taken out of the hands of the leadership and put in the hands of a broad workers strike committee! We call on the entire working class community, including workers at other workplaces to form strike solidarity committees! There should be a call for international working class support!

 issued by Workers International Vanguard League, 1st Floor Community House, 41 Salt River rd, Salt River, 7925  ph/fax 021 4476777 email:

Vom 4 Aug 2001

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