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Author Topic: Clouds Of Revolution

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  • Liaison to South Africa
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  • Die Kerk Van Die Skepper Suid Afrika
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Re: Clouds Of Revolution
« Reply #10 on: 04 July 2014 at 14:37 »

Numsa Threatens SA With Power Blackout

South Africa could face a complete blackout, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa warned on Wednesday in response to a court interdict against a strike at Eskom. South Africa could face a complete blackout, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) warned on Wednesday in response to a court interdict against a strike at Eskom. The union would embark on an unprotected strike if Eskom did not meet its demand of at least a double-digit increase, Numsa head of collective bargaining Stephen Nhlapo said during a protest outside the power utility’s Megawatt Park headquarters in Sunninghill, Johannesburg. The power utility has obtained a court interdict to prevent its workers from striking because it is designated an essential service provider. Nhlapo said the union would not be intimidated if Eskom threatened mass dismissals. “There is not going to be load shedding. It will be total blackout.”

The interdict interfered with workers’ constitutionally enshrined right to strike, he said. One lane of Maxwell Drive, outside Megawatt Park, was blocked as Numsa members sat in the road, singing and clapping, as metro police kept watch. Numsa is demanding a single-year wage deal with a 12% increase and a R1 000 housing allowance. Nhlapo said the purpose of the picket was to pressure Eskom to negotiate in good faith. Eskom has reportedly offered 5,6%, but declined to confirm this, saying the wage negotiations were confidential. Asked to comment on the potential effect of an Eskom strike on the economy, Nhlapo said there was no economy without workers. “The economy has been collapsing without us going on strike. You can’t blame it on workers. If workers don’t have buying power, the economy will collapse.” He dismissed Eskom’s present offer as a “wage cut”, saying it was below inflation.

EFF won’t follow rules – Malema

The Economic Freedom Fighters are in Parliament to pursue a revolution, not rules, party leader Julius Malema said on Friday, as his supporters staged an all-day protest outside the legislature. “I’m not here for rules of Parliament. I’m here for a revolution,” Malema told journalists at Parliament. “We are not going to sit back and allow a situation where a revolution is undermined in the name of rules.” The fiery EFF leader said his party would not follow parliamentary rules “created by colonialists and imperialists”. Malema said he was taking legal advice following National Council of Provinces chairwoman Thandi Modise’s warning that he could face disciplinary steps. “We’ll take it to court. There is nothing wrong with this [statement that the] ANC government murdered people in Marikana,” Malema said. “At least in court we’ll get a neutral person who is not an ANC deployee.”

Barbs fly in the battle of the unions

Everyone agrees there is something pretty strange going on at the Port of Ngqura outside Port Elizabeth. They differ in three ways on where the strangeness stems from, though. Is this an early preparation for the violent overthrow of the government in 2019 ? Is it proof that the ANC is treating a parastatal like a political chess piece ? Or is the strangeness because workers are being fooled into replicating in the transport sector what is happening in the platinum sector ? It doesn’t help – or give much hope for the direction in which labour relations are heading this strike season – that the parties involved who do not deal in disinformation cite a need for secrecy, that the real action plays out behind security fences and in the dead of night, and that everyone accuses everyone else of lying.

On strike

Workers at Ngqura, a port that functions largely as a trans-shipment hub while the Coega industrial development zone develops around it, have been on strike for eight weeks. How many workers ? More than 400, say members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) gathered outside the gates, a group in itself some 40 people strong. Enough to cause operations to be severely hampered. A little over 100, says port operator Transnet, and shipments are being handled just fine. The strike has been blamed for criminal acts against working Transnet employees, with arson and allegations of intimidation, something not previously seen in similar industrial action in the area. Who is responsible for the violence ? Well, Numsa of course, says fellow Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) affiliate the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu), the majority union at the terminal and one of only two recognised by Transnet for the purposes of negotiations. The arson is self-inflicted, say the Numsa members, by employees who believed the rumours that Transnet would replace cars and houses that were set alight; and the claims of intimidation are exactly – and only – that: claims.

Bread-and-butter issues

Why are the Numsa workers striking ? Because of bread-and-butter employment issues, say those picketing, including a unilateral change in the duration of shifts and unfair deductions to pay for their company-arranged commute. For no particular reason it can detect, says Transnet, and certainly not because of “strike-able” issues. But there is a more sinister, if perhaps fanciful, explanation for why those workers have downed tools, according to Satawu: because ports are an entry point for weapons and there are forces in South Africa that will, in the not-too-distant future, require the import of weapons. “We are reliably informed that, as part of Numsa’s strategy, they are now in bed with Amcu [the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, best known for its strike on the platinum belt] and the EFF [the Economic Freedom Fighters],” Satawu spokesperson Vincent Masoga told the Mail & Guardian. “The political motives of these three organisations are similar: to destabilise the country, to prepare South Africa for a 2019 Arab-style revolution. And they want a way they can freely have their rogue friends bringing illegal arms [into] the country.” Numsa, in return, accused Satawu of dreaming up such allegations with the help of “intelligence elements in the state”.
"We go back to the basic Laws of Nature : Take Care of Your Own, Love your Own. Hate your Enemies, Destroy your Enemies. The Law of Survival of your own kind is the Highest Law of Nature and Transcends All Others" - Ben Klassen