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From all corners the capitalists and their paid lackeys in the capitalist press are moaning like spoilt brats. Attempts to divide workers by offering R500 sweeteners combined with threats of disinvesting or losing contracts have become the fashion. All this means that the capitalists are feeling it where it hurts- in the profit margins. The capitalists and their liberal friends both outside and inside the workers' movement are pathetic in their attempts to cloud what is really at stake. "But other workers will take heed from the lead of the motor workers and also ask for more", they cry. " Motor workers are selfish and overpaid" they moan. Notably these professional mourners are the same people who defended the R238 million severance package to Coleman Andrews for the great service done to the capitalist class by the selling off of the entire SAA fleet!
We should remember that the ownership of the motor companies are interconnected with the conglomerates - basically the big 5 - Anglo-De Beers; Old Mutual; Rembrandt; Sanlam and Liberty Life. Further, that the major ones of these conglomerates having shifted their headquarters offshore has exposed the direct link between imperialism and slave capitalist relations in South Africa. One of the lessons of the defeat of the mass dismissal of the 1386 VWSA workers last year is that for workers to have any chance of a sustained fight, international workers solidarity needs to be built and at the same time this means that the international bureaucracy within the trade unions need to be taken on. The fight against them can be taken forward by the strikers sending delegations to all the major motor plants internationally, be they Korea, Brasil, Mexico, Europe, USA or Canada. Verbal statements of solidarity will have to be matched with action, failing which the bureaucrats in other centres stand to lose credibility and the real threat to the imperialists in their heartlands will be sharpened. The conservative nature of the US and Canadian workers need not be considered an obstacle. They too are increasingly facing cutbacks and visiting them is part of laying groundwork for future mass cooperation.
Secondly, the bosses have now openly ackowledged what is a fact, namely that the metalworkers are the vanguard in the fight to raise the living standards of the working class as a whole. Indeed, in general the industrial worker leads the rest of the working class and the semi-proletarian sectors - this is an feature characteristic of capitalism. What the capitalists really are saying is that the metalworkers are upsetting their plans for the continued and increased level of exploitation for the entire working class! The imperialists are hiding their real agenda, namely that their international system of exploitation is held together by structurally transferring their crisis in profits onto the shoulders of the working class in the neo-colonial countries. The imperialists, together with the ANC government, wants to manipulate inflation down to 3% over the next 2 years. This means a generalised reduction in wages of the entire working class.The imperialist agenda is to break the back of the resistance of the metalworkers so that all other sectors can have similar reduced wages imposed on them next year and henceforth! The imperialist attack on the metalworkers is an attack on the entire working class. On the other hand, a real gain for the metalworkers is a gain for the entire working class! The failure of the metalworkers leadership to mobilise an effective campaign exposes that while in words they proclaim to be pro-worker, in practice they are the agents of capital within the workers' movement!
Besides the international campaign, there should be the following steps
1. The building of joint strike committees between members of Numsa , MWU and Ocgawu [and any other union that may have members in the sector] should be made a priority, especially in the light of a possible protracted strike- no effort should be spared in achieving unity in action- if there is no effort for this step then it shows that the leadership is not serious that the strike should succeed;
2. There should be an immediate campaign among the working class to mobilise for a Solidarity General Strike in support of the motor workers. [We should remember the whole idea of the Living Wage Campaign was for all major sectors to have wage negotiations at the same time so that this could form the backbone of a General Strike in support of the entire working class] Where possible, other demands of other sectors need to be considered and brought together in this campaign.]
3. Blade Nzimande, Vavi, Godongwana and Nondwangu should be sent to the workers in UItenhage to account for their role in supporting the mass dismissal of the 1386 VWSA dismissed workers. It is notable that the SACP is loudly silent on this issue, showing that they are in the pockets of the capitalists.
BUILD SUPPORT FOR THE MOTOR WORKERS
STRIKE FROM GRASSROOTS UP TO INTERNATIONAL LEVELS! FORWARD TO A GENERAL STRIKE IN SUPPORT
OF THE MOTOR WORKERS! A VICTORY FOR THE MOTORWORKERS IS
A VICTORY FOR THE ENTIRE WORKING CLASS! DOWN WITH WAGE CUTS - FORWARD TO A
LIVING WAGE! A WORKING CLASS UNITED WILL NEVER
FORWARD TO A GENERAL STRIKE IN SUPPORT
OF THE MOTOR WORKERS!
A VICTORY FOR THE MOTORWORKERS IS
A VICTORY FOR THE ENTIRE WORKING CLASS!
DOWN WITH WAGE CUTS - FORWARD TO A
A WORKING CLASS UNITED WILL NEVER
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