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Date: 27 January 2001 12:29

We, the representatives of the VWSA dismissed workers hereby wish to thank all the groups and individuals locally, nationally and internationally for the long and wonderful support that you have given. If it was not for your messages of encouragement and other contributions, through spreading the message and through material support, we would not have been able to sustain our fight up to now.

We have won reinstatement of all workers, which is a victory for the struggle for workers control and workers' right of representation of their own choice. Now we are faced with the prospect that the company has given notice of review. This is very serious as it may delay the return to work by another 2 years. What is worse is that the temporary workers who replaced the dismissed workers , were already retrenched in December last year. The community is faced with massive destruction on a scale never seen before this period. As a union we defend the rights of any worker. We did not employ them and the company has to also take responsibility for them. They are workers and have rights too. All along the company issued notices that they cannot wait for the outcome as they wanted to put the whole incident behind them, but when the result came, suddenly they want to drag the whole process out. The local Human Resource Director of VWSA said under oath in the arbitration that the company had no plans for any retrenchment. But what is happening now raises serious questions over the motives of the company.

The Union position is that we are still ready for talks with the company and the doors for discussion on the implimentation of the award are still open. We requested a meeting with the company to discuss the process of the Return to work on the 5th Feb 2001, the date required by the arbitration award. We require the maximum pressure to be put on the company who has said that it is up to Germany head office to finally decide on the matter. Ironically, VWSA just announced a massive billion rand investment in the region, which now appears to be built based on massive reduction of workforce, rather than job creation. We should try and do all that we can to get the company to the table before the 5th Feb 2001.

As a start, we are hosting a rally at a local stadium on Sunday 28.01.01 from 10am, to thank all those who have in some way supported the workers up to now. We have also invited the temporary workers who have also just lost their jobs.

Sorry for the short notice but we request messages of support from yourselves for the rally and all who have assisted in some way , and even from other people , who may want to now publicly voice their support for our common cause. Please pass this message on as widely as possible.

Yours in the struggle
S Douse
OCGAWU Local Secretary
ph/fax 27 41 9220309

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