This year’s May Day comes at a time when capital has intensified its campaign and onslaught against the working class coupled with the struggling economy and high levels of unemployment this making times even tougher for workers. It therefore makes sense for workers to regroup and organize to ensure that we defend the gains which have been made particularly in the democratic South Africa while on the other hand advancing our struggle for the betterment of the working class.
May Day is not just a holiday, it is a day in which workers reflect on victories and gains which have been made and also giving them an opportunity to strategize on how to tackle capital and exploitative employers. This day also gives workers from across all sectors in the world to show solidarity on campaigns which will be of the greater benefit to workers of the world who by uniting have nothing to lose but their chains.
We should therefore use this year’s May Day to strengthen our campaigns for a living wage, banning of labour brokers, anti-privatization, opposition to e-tolling, our a demand for efficient and affordable public transport and the immediate implementation of the National Health Insurance.
The COSATU CEC has identified key priority campaigns for 2017 which includes recruitment, retention and membership servicing members. As SAMWU celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, we have identified 2017 as the year of strengthening our recruitment campaigns, retaining our members and increasing the service we render to municipal workers. We have taken a conscious decision that all municipal workers should belong to SAMWU so they too can benefit from the proud and great history of this union and that they should form part of the next 30 years in which we will make more history in the benefit of the country’s municipal workers.
In response to the onslaught against the working class, we will be convening a policy and collective bargaining conference in the second week of May so we can strategize the way forward and our approach towards the upcoming salary and wage negotiations with the South African Local Government Association as the current salary and wage agreement in nearing its last year.
The 1st of May is a reminder and a dark day for SAMWU as we lost members when over 50 comrades died in 2003 following a tragic accident when the bus they were traveling in plunged in the Saulspoort Dam. As we celebrate this year’s May Day, we take off our hats in honor of the Saulspoort Dam victims and trust that their revolutionary spirits will continue to live amongst us.
In celebrating 2017 May Day, SAMWU reaffirms its place in COSATU as an affiliate in good standing. SAMWU National Office Bearers have also been deployed as follows; the President will be in Bloemfontein, 1st Deputy President in Mzimkhulu, General Secretary in Kingwilliam’s Town while the Deputy General Secretary will be in Polokwane.
We therefore urge all our members, workers and their families to join and participate in COSATU events and rallies across the country. Details of rallies are available at all COSATU and SAMWU offices and websites. We hope to see you there as we strengthen the working class power.
Issued by SAMWU Head Office
079 887 8389
National Media Officer
060 416 6661