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Thread: Jobs crisis - time for transformation!

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    Full Member totius54's Avatar
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    Jobs crisis - time for transformation!

    Jenny Grice

    “There is something about the working class,” said Numsa general secretary, Irvin Jim, “when it is faced with a crisis, it has the ability to be innovative and come up with solutions. This is what the working class did 70 years ago when it found itself in a similar crisis.”
    Jim was addressing more than 180 delegates from Numsa's Gauteng regions (Hlanganani, Sedibeng, Wits Central West and Ekurhuleni) at their regional job security conference held from April 23 to 27.
    He described how the idea of social security and social welfare was developed during the Depression years of the 1930s in the US and Europe as a result of pressure from organised workers.
    “Our task is to defend jobs while at the same time acting to transform the capitalist system and build socialism. We cannot separate the two tasks. If we do, we will not be different from other reformist unions.”
    Jim went on to describe how Numsa should be shifting “the auto industry from a sector that provides luxury cars to a tiny sector of society, to one that builds a safe and efficient public transport system.”
    Such a plan would fit in with government’s long-term public transport strategy. He also urged delegates to analyse how Numsa sectors can “take advantage of government's capital and infrastructure programme.”

    No more Father Christmas
    Numsa president Cedric Gina told delegates, “We are tired of Governor Mboweni acting like Father Christmas – dishing a half basis point this month while promising another next time if the country behaves according to his patronising standards. To save jobs demands significant reduction of the repo rate by the Reserve Bank”.
    Delegates also heard inputs from Gauteng’s Premier Paul Mashatile, different government departments and industry associations.

    Key decisions of the Gauteng conference are:
    * to call on the new ANC government administration to make the consolidation of state procurement policies one of the priorities in its first 100-days programme; job-saving must become a major consideration when decisions about where supplies are to be sourced are taken.
    * to picket the next meeting of Eskom’s board of directors since the Union believes that decisions of the board’s tender committee are to blame for the loss of jobs in electrical engineering and cable-manufacturing sectors.
    * to urgently meet Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Sedibeng and Tshwane mayors in order to have workers who are on short-time and lay-off qualify as indigents in the four municipalities
    * to call on the new government administration to reduce the vacancy rate in the public service within 100-days after it comes into office
    * to march to the SA Reserve Bank on May 27 to demand a further drastic reduction in interest rates
    * to call for an immediate increase of import duties and tariffs in cases where the bound rate (what South Africa offered to the World Trade Organisation) is higher than the applied rate (what the actual tariff is) and where there is ample evidence that the lower applied rate threatens jobs and economic development
    * for the new ANC government to produce a Bill that will make sure that labour brokers are outlawed
    * to agitate for worker and state takeovers of companies that are on the verge of liquidation if goods that they produce have a market and there are prospects to diversify from what they presently produce.

    Eastern Cape
    Meanwhile, Numsa's Eastern Cape region is heavily involved in a similar initiative. With the automotive sector (Numsa's auto and tyre sectors) being one of the key sectors in the province, Numsa is keen to see jobs saved.
    Working with the provincial government a number of consultative meetings have been held with industry leaders, municipalities, other trade unions and affected parties as well as the department of economic development (DEDEA).
    Dedea was mandated by the Provincial EXCO to lead and drive the Provincial response. A high level Rapid Response Coordinating Committee (RRCC) was established to manage a raft of counter-crisis interventions. This is chaired by the MEC, DEDEA and is made up of senior representatives of Government, business and labour.
    The RRCC meets bi-weekly to urgently develop project interventions and to consider ways in which the impact of the global economic crisis and the consequent jobs crisis can be mitigated in the Province.
    Speaking at the launch of the RRCC, outgoing MEC, Masualle of DEDEA, stressed that provincial government believes that retrenchments should not be used first to deal with this crisis.
    “Government would do whatever we could to facilitate measures to avoid retrenchments and closures,” he said, and was committed to providing leadership to ensure that the province weathers this storm. Masualle urged all development partners to maintain maximum communication and a healthy flow of information on the situation.

    Western Cape
    Across on the west coast, Numsa's Western Cape region is also participating in a provincial government initiative to save jobs.
    "Government, organised business, organised labour and civil society sits in the Provincial Development Council (PDC)," says Numsa Western Cape regional secretary, Fred Petersen.
    He says that the PDC has activated a Rapid Response Unit (RRU) to urgently address those companies in distress. The RRU sits weekly and thus far has received 19 applications for assistance; many of these whose order books have already run dry.
    Petersen says that their REC which sat on April 4-5 resolved that amendments to section 189 of the LRA should be tabled as soon as possible. “Numsa should not wait to take them to the Cosatu National Congress later this year!” he said.

    As Numsa News went to print, KZN was holding its own regional conference while plans were afoot to organize a jobs conference in Mpumalanga.
    The key challenge after all these conferences will be to implement decisions agreed on! See how YOU can implement these decisions at workplace level and take part in marches where they happen!

    STOP PRESS
    Close to 200 Numsa members picketed outside the SA Reserve Bank on April 29 demanding a drastic drop in the repo rate. Numsa president, Cedric Gina, handed a memorandum to a representative of the SARB.

  2. #2
    Full Member totius54's Avatar
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    We asked labour 4 years ago to do what they are now trying to implement .

    To little to late

    He says that the PDC has activated a Rapid Response Unit (RRU) to urgently address those companies in distress. The RRU sits weekly and thus far has received 19 applications for assistance; many of these whose order books have already run dry.

    This is a none functional body/ unit , It was not properly funded so the help they can give is empathy buckets and buckets full . The last response from them was that they are in the process of establishing a HELP desk.

    We need cash to see us threw these times not band aid plasters , money

    Cosatu will have 65% less members by the end of this year , we will see large amount of office bearers standing in the unemployment lines.

    The 75 mill spend on JZ's party would have saved 100 companies from closing.
    Last edited by totius54; 10-Jun-09 at 08:41 PM.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    * to agitate for worker and state takeovers of companies that are on the verge of liquidation if goods that they produce have a market and there are prospects to diversify from what they presently produce.
    Which has me wondering why such companies would be liquidating in the first place

    There's this gap between theory and practical reality that causes even more problems.
    Last edited by Dave A; 10-Jun-09 at 09:48 PM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    There's this gap between theory and practical reality that causes even more problems.
    That nails this whole scenario down. Their plan will just expand their problem.

    * to call on the new ANC government administration ...
    Consolidation and centralisation = job losses. Besides that I was under the impression that the idea was to get a flow right down to grassroots level and create jobs all along the way. They have put brazilians into the Department of Local and provincial government. Now its called Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs - so it sound as if they have consolidated already and taken away the portfolio that was designed to get the municipalities up and running.
    * to picket the next meeting of Eskom’s board of directors
    Dancing and parties - the SA way to go.
    * to urgently meet Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni,....
    Empty scenario for an unknown result.
    * to call on the new government administration to reduce the vacancy rate .....
    With what....unskilled numsa labourforce members?
    * to march to the SA Reserve Bank....
    We are marching to Tswane, Tswane, Tswane........all sing together.
    * to call for an immediate increase of import duties....
    When these guys realise that SA is an extremely small part of the global economy, that our production levels are one of the lowest in the world, that our labour costs are one of the highest etc etc ....then they can jump up and down on this one.
    * for the new ANC government to produce a Bill that will make sure that labour brokers are outlawed.
    I dont get this one...unless they see themselves as the only labour broker out there. Sure I don't like labour brokers either but they have a place and presumably reduce corporate hr bills. I presume the reason is that the business world does not want to pick up the tab for employee benefits etc. Once again the basics of labour expectations are way too high and out of proportion with the production levels and global equivalents.
    * to agitate for worker and state takeovers of companies that are on the verge of liquidation....
    Like Dave says, why would they be liquidated in the first place. This is probably related to mine closures mainly. Again if they are unable to realise that their demands for higher wages creates a drain on the bottom line and eventual closure then this kind of comment can also be expected.

    The only practical solution is for labour to see that there is only so much in the pot and that if their striking workforce demands all of it, there is nothing left for anything or anybody else.They cannot run around demanding something which nobody has to give them. As long as one can make more money investing offshore and in financial assets, rather than financing a dodgy demanding production scario, the investment will remain at arms length for the likes of NUMSA.

    As said the expectation is that the unions will have a huge membership loss. I would have thought that this is the time to stop dancing and singing, consolidate membership with a call to reduce wage expectations, reduce the size of government labour law books and increase production and outputs.

    The pot at the end of the Rainbow Nation is running dry as a result of a fall out between thieves and not enough is being done to refuel it, as they carry on squabbling over the crumbs.
    The cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.
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    Full Member totius54's Avatar
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    Closures are mainly due to the fact that there is no through put ,( generating sales)

    What happen is that the companies cash flow have dried up , banks are not wanting to take risk .

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Yep! Now I'd love to hear how the NUMSA proposals are going to change that situation by
    • generating sales,
    • raising capital and
    • making the company's operation profitable.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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