update on VWSA strike 28.2.2000

Last week, the scab Numsa officials tried to hold shopsteward elections at the VWSA plant. The workers sent a delegation of 5 to meet them and instruct them that no elections are to be held. Their mandate is to get their fellow comrades from outside back in.

Management of VWSA and their friends, the Numsa officials literally came to blows last week when the one accused the other of having caused the crisis at the plant. Irwin Jim, a leading SACP member and one of the NUmsa officials behind the undemocratic attacks on VWSA workers, was not much perturbed. His future in local government seems secured. Meanwhile, the NUmsa members at the plant have given the management and Numsa leadership an ultimatum to recognise their leaders and legal representative. This is a crucial development as the 30 day deadline for taking up the case legally is looming [at the end of the week]. On Friday, VWSA management rejected an offer by the workers to negotiate through the weekend to resolve the

current impasse. They said they can negotiate with Numsa officials nationally or regionally. Despite this statement, Numsa has not responded.

The strike now goes into the 6th week. Dry white bread has long been replaced by a diet of dry brown bread and water. The children of the strikers go to school barefoot and without food, while the NUmsa officials and VWSA bosses get fatter by the day.

On Tuesday 29.2.2000, strikers and residents will stage a march to the gates of VWSA. This was finalised by a huge mass meeting of strikers and workers from the inside, held today in Kwa-Nobuhle, Uitenhage.

The demand is the same- the unconditional reinstatement of all workers; respect workers democracy; down with the pro-boss union officials and leadership! Only workers at the plant have the right to elect or remove their representatives; there should be the right of instant recall of representatives - this is the bedrock of workers democracy. The special 'code of elections for VWSA' that abolishes joint general meetings, should be scrapped!

received and distributed by Wivl for the Uitenhage Crisis Committee
for comment ph: 0826265298 WM Ndandani
e-mail: fmsaba@hot.co.za
e-mail: wivl@sn.apc.org


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