Are the unions still carrying out their original mandate?
Solomzi Mabeka of Komani writes: It has become the norm that labour unions are dying a silent death. These unions were established through the sweat and blood of workers who fought exploitation by the white regime, and some black elite bourgeois who benefited during the apartheid era. Their purpose was to protect exploitation by employers.
Nowadays the unions are a stepping ladder to enrichment for certain members and officials. Some executive members are fighting the battles of employers and take sides. I have a living testimony that union officials are sidelining workers and siding with certain institutional managers, instead of concentrating on workers’ issues.
There is a decrease in membership and deteriorating numbers at meetings. It may happen that two members of the same union are represented by the same official in disciplinary hearings at the same time.
During our days such incidents were resolved in the union offices.
Nowadays we experience members fighting for positions in government departments. They joined the union in order to have their bread buttered on both sides.
Look at the situation at Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality – Samwu is demanding their money but they can see the situation is bad. The municipality is working with no funds and owes Eskom millions. The money preventing a blackout in terms of Eskom is also a loan. I do not know if unions are still fighting for the needs of workers.
We complained that we were led by people who were not from Komani, but the same people are fighting for the removal of mayor Sisisi Tolashe, who has struggled and fought for our liberation. I have a suspicion that even labour unions are captured. There might be a conspiracy behind leaders that are camouflaged.
The SA Communist Party, the vanguard of the working class, must show leadership.
The government and officials of SOEs are believed to have been captured by the Guptas. Where were the unions and workers while this was happening?