Today marked the beginning of a process of mobilisation against privatisation in support of labour's demands as presented to the government.
Workers who were present at their workplaces embarked on a two hour work stoppage. The unions were left to decides on what time they should embark on stoppage, since they knew when the effective time to embark on protest would be.
We are going ahead with the mass action plans for January 16, 1996. This does not mean that we are opposed to the ongoing negotiations. But we believe that the mass action will back up the negotiations.
- We want to reiterate that in countries where privatisation has occurred, the public at large has not benefited other than the elites. In these countries, prices have risen beyond the reach of the public. - We want to ensure that there is job preservation rather than job retrenchments. - The state should not relinquish its position of playing a role in the productive sector of the economy.
For more info: Nowetu Mpati COSATU Spokesperson.
As South African workers we reject and protest against: 1. The way in which the government has gone about with the unilateral announcement on restructuring of state assets and privatisation. 2. Privatisation of certain enterprises, given that only the views of management had been taken aboard.
COSATU therefore demands that 1. The government put a moratorium on the process currently underway in the various enterprises since they could undermine and pre-empt the process of negotiations. 2. A bilateral agreement is reached with the government on a National Framework that will inform the process of restructuring at the enterprise or sector level. 3. Information currently in the possession of management and the government, on which their positions and proposals are based, should be made available to us. 4. The enterprise transformation task teams should be restructured to ensure adequate representation of labour. Labour should have representatives in the sectorial task teams established by the government. 5. Union officials or experts appointed by the unions should be allowed to participate in these processes. 6. Resources should be made available to labour for further research, in the same way that management and the government use public funds to do theirs. 7. We will only participate in the Nedlac task team on restructuring once the above has been dealt with.