Workers' summit not endorsing any political party

2016-05-19 20:02
Zwelinzima Vavi. (Picture: Elizabeth Sejake)

Zwelinzima Vavi. (Picture: Elizabeth Sejake)

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Johannesburg - The workers' summit, which is establishing a new trade union federation, is not endorsing a political party in this year’s local government elections, convener Zwelinzima Vavi said on Thursday.

“All we know is that we are maintaining a very strong line that we have closed a chapter on political alliances,” he told reporters in Johannesburg.

This could, however, be discussed in the future.

He hoped workers were “mature” enough to know what was in their interests, particularly on the economic front, and would pursue these interests at the polls.

Vavi said 53 unions had so far committed to the new federation, which would rival the Cosatu.

Vavi was expelled as Cosatu’s general secretary in March 2015 for bringing the organisation into disrepute and causing divisions by criticising the ANC government’s policies, which he said had failed workers.

The unions had agreed in the meantime that they would campaign for jobs.

“We know it must present a credible alternative economic strategy that deals with the current crisis and deals with the transformation of the economy into one that guarantees sustained jobs, improved living conditions and a comprehensive social welfare system,” he said.

This strategy would be based on redistribution of wealth to deal with inequality and unemployment.

The jobs campaign had 16 demands.

Read here for the full list 

There was a close relationship between this jobs campaign and Cosatu’s.

However Cosatu was paralysed and comprised and would not be able to implement it, he said.

In the next two to three weeks, the workers' summit would hold a large shop stewards council in Gauteng, and then in other provinces.

“Following those shop stewards councils we will be chasing all of the people who abuse workers left, right and centre, in every street, every corner of town, every rural area. They must run. We are coming.”

Vavi said Cosatu and the SA Communist Party could not lead jobs campaign as it would threaten the status quo and the ruling elite, of which they were a part, along with capital.

“Anyone who takes up this campaign strongly will be shaking the foundations of the status quo and the status quo in South Africa today is profits for a few. It’s multiplying the millionaires and multiplying those who live below the poverty line.”

Read more on:    zwelinzima vavi  |  johannesburg

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