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CEPPWAWU WITS REGION
We are marching on Wednesday, 14th May 2003 from the CEPPWAWU Wits Regional Office (Cnr. Kerk & Mooi Streets - Joburg) starting at 10am to the CEPPWAWU Head Office (No.32 Eloff Street/cnr. Frederick) to demand the immediate lifting of the suspension of our Regional Office Bearers. As members of the union who pay subscriptions, we believe that the fate of this organisation lies in our hands. We can no longer tolerate attempts to sow confusion and disunity amongst us as workers in this union, both regionally and nationally.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of CEPPWAWU has suspended our Regional Office Bearers (ROBs) and they are: cdes John Appolis, Dan Nkotsoe, Vuyani Tayika and Nomboniso Ndlwana. The NEC suspended them on the 6th May 2003.
In the Regional Shop Stewards Council on Saturday, 10th May 2003, we, as shop stewards, rejected this suspension of our regional leadership. They were suspended for putting forward the democratic mandate from the Region in the NEC. We took the democratic decision to Call for a Workers' Referendum on the Alliance and on the 2004 national elections. We rejected the subsequent decision of the NEC to investigate the call for a workers referendum and their visit to the Locals.
Last year we made an assessment of the two-day general strike of Cosatu against privatization. On the basis of our assessment of the strike we put forward the call for the workers' referendum. The call for the referendum was important because workers felt that before the elections we fight battles with the ANC government. But when the national elections approach we are turned into the election machinery of the ANC. This workers' referendum was to test workers' views on the alliance and on 2004 national elections. Workers told us that COSATU cannot fight privatization decisively because of the Alliance with the ANC/SACP. This was the political message that came out of the strike and this is what workers were sending to COSATU and CEPPWAWU.
We are saying that workers have the right to belong to any political organisation and they belong to the ANC, PAC, AZAPO, APF and so on. They therefore have the right to put forward their political views in the Union.
We had enough of the national leaders trying to undermine and divide the Wits Region. We have consistently struggled to ensure that the union is strong and the Union is financially managed properly.
Financial Mismanagement of the Union by the NOBC This is not first time the national leaders are trying to suppress our democratic voice. In 2001, we challenged the financial mismanagement of our Union. The Union was (and still is) in a very serious financial crisis. This financial crisis was largely to due to the national leaders not managing the finances properly. This financial crisis resulted in workers having to pay a once of levy of R20 to assist in overcoming the financial crisis. The Union has presently, a deficit of over R 1 million.
The Wits Region proposed a vote of no confidence in the NOBC for financially mismanaging the Union. For daring to challenge this financial mismanagement the Wits Region was subjected to an investigation by the NOBC. This was an attempt to intimidate and undermine the Wits Region. The NOBC came to investigate and as shop stewards we told them in very strong terms that the vote of no-confidence is a Regional position. We told them not to waste Union monies by conducting useless investigations.
Masibambane Unemployed Project
The national leadership has been trying to undermine our efforts to organize retrenched and dismissed members of CEPPWAWU. The Wits Region formed the Masibambane Unemployed Project to bring about unity between the employed and the unemployed. The Wits Region together with Masibambane Unemployed Project have been taking up the issue of pension surplus and the re-employment of our retrenched comrades. Marches have been organised to some of the companies and hundreds of workers are attending the marches and meetings.
The national leaders are saying that the Masibambane Unemployed Project is a political problem. Our Region has been challenging these attempts to undermine the Masibambane Unemployed Project. So instead of welcoming the initiative to organise the former members of CEPPWAWU, the national leaders are trying to destroy it.
We feel strongly that the suspension of our Wits ROBs is aimed at removing our democratically elected leaders and replace them with a "PUPPET REGIME". We can no longer tolerate that our Region is undermined and that our democratic voices are suppressed. We demand : Hands Off the Wits Region !!!
As the Regional Shop Stewards Council:
Issued by the Shop Stewards of the Wits Region ( 10 May 2003 )
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION & STATEMENTS CONTACT: MOLEFE RAMADIRO (JOHANNESBURG LOCAL CHAIRPERSON) ON 083 596-0022
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