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ZACF Statement of Support for Public Sector Strike

category southern africa | workplace struggles | press release author Wednesday June 13, 2007 19:53author by Jonathan - Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federationauthor email international at zabalaza dot net Report this post to the editors

The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (southern Africa) supports the public sector strikers, not just in their demand for a wage increase of 12%, which has now been reduced to 10%, but also in their struggle to improve the standard of all public sector services.


ZACF Statement of Support for Public Sector Strike


This year, it was recommended by the Independent (state) Commission for the Remunaration of Public Office Bearers that President Thabo Mbeki get a 57,3% pay rise, taking his total package from R1,1-million to R1,8-million annually. The Commission also recommended that Members of Parliament receive a total of R650,000 annually. Compare this to the insulting 6% wage increase initially offered by the state to public sector workers, one of whom, a hospital clerk, told us she fed five mouths with an annual take-home salary of under R12,000.

The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (southern Africa) supports the public sector strikers in South Africa, not just in their demand for a wage increase of 12%, which has now been reduced to 10%, but also in their struggle to improve the standard of all public sector services. We call on all workers and community members to show their support for this strike, as it is not just about wages but an attempt to raise the quality of public services provided to us all.

We strongly condemn the government's attempt to intimidate workers into ending the strike by issuing dismissal notices to striking workers, and by using apartheid-era police brutality against picketers - even though the police are headed by SACP national chairperson Charles Nqakula. We support the workers' demands that any agreement reached must be accompanied by the unconditional reinstatement of any and all workers dismissed during the strike.

We strongly condemn the government's duplicity in its negotiators, led by Kenny Govender, having pretended for four whole months to be negotiating in good faith when Govender's team turned out not to have the mandate of the four ANC Cabinet ministers tasked with managing the strike: Nquakula, Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and ex-communist Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi.

We strongly condemn the attempts by certain reactionary sections of the media to portray the strikers en masse as violent when the few incidents of violence have been caused by a handful of shady characters and ill-disciplined strikers. It is remarkable that the economic abuse perpetrated on workers by being paid starvation wages is not considered to be violent.

We commend the great display of solidarity to be shown by the municipal workers today and, with great respect, wish them strength and courage in their actions. We also commend the remarkable solidarity shown between the union federations and the independents on this strike as the foundation for an undivided working class-based mass movement.

We are confident, however, that even if government concedes to the demands of the public sector workers, it will not be long before the workers have to strike again, to keep up with inflation and the rising cost of living. That is why we say that this strike should not just be for higher wages and better public services, but that it should be part of a larger struggle against the system whereby the rich and powerful profit of the suffering and labour of the poor.

As long as we live under an economic system where public services are operated as profit generating enterprises we will have to fight just to have our most basic needs catered for. This is why we anarchist-communists say that a struggle between the rich minority and the poor majority, between the bosses and the workers, in this case between government and public sector employees, must go on until the boss class has been overthrown and all the enterprises necessary to meet the needs of the people have been taken under the control of those who work them.

This strike illustrates very clearly, as anarchists have always maintained, that the government, any government - be it black, white, socialist or capitalist - does not serve the interests of the working and poor people, but those of the rich, comfortable and privileged classes. The government is an employer and, as such, acts as a boss, willing to fire on it's own employees in order to defend its profit margins.

That is why we are adamant that, regardless of the outcome of this strike - although we hope it will be in favour of the workers - there will not be adequate service delivery, and access for all to the necessities of life, until such time as the workers have properly organised themselves to take back all the industries of the land, to operate them not for profit but to meet the needs of all.

When the factories and land are controlled by those that work them, education by the educators and students, and the communities by those that inhabit them, then we can say we are free. When goods are produced and distributed not according to ability to pay and the profit motive, but according to need, and everybody has access to the necessities of life, then we can say we are free. When all the public services are controlled both by those that they cater to and by those that they are operated by, then we can say we are truly free.

Until such time we must organise and unite all the workers of the land, in both the factories and fields, together with the students, unemployed and all the communities of the poor and working poor, for one last liberation struggle. The struggle not for democratic control of a government - black or white, socialist or capitalist - that controls our lives, but for the very control of our lives, ourselves, and all that that entails. For popular control of the resources and industries of the land. This is the new liberation struggle, the struggle for total liberation.

PHAMBILI NGOMZABALAZO!
PHANSI 7.25%! PHANSI 10%!
SIFUNA ZONKE!

Related Link: http://www.zabalaza.net
author by Richard Cleminson - Solidarity Federation - IWA (UK)publication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 19:06Report this post to the editors

Dear comrades of the ZACF

We in the SOLIDARITY FEDERATION, British Section of the International Workers' Association, send solidarity greetings to the striking Public Service workers in South Africa.

We support not just their demand for a wage increase but also their defence of all public sector services. We strongly condemn the government's attempt to intimidate workers into ending the strike by issuing dismissal notices to striking workers.

We wish the workers victory in their just demands.

In solidarity

Richard Cleminson
International Secretary, SF/IWA, 14 June 2007

Related Link: http://www.solfed.org.uk/
author by International Relations - Federation of Anarchists of Greece (OAE)publication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 19:21Report this post to the editors

OAE – Greece supports the strikers in S.Africa
by OAE-Greece - Anarkismo Wednesday, Jun 13 2007, 1:54pm
ngnm55@gmail.com
southern africa / workplace struggles / press release

Statement of Solidarity

The Federation of Anarchists of Greece (OAE) is calling for a further action in terms of unity and organisation.
The Federation of Anarchists of Greece (OAE) is giving its full support to the workers in the public sector of South Africa and is calling all the anarchist organisations, anarchsyndicalist unions and all the concerned people not only support the strike but also to stand in an active solidarity to them wherever they are.

As we understand the strikers not only meet the reactionary tactics by the government who dismissed fellow workes but also meet the effort by a number of sold-out media to present the strike as a violent event which suppossedly disturbs the “normal life” or the “social peace” in South Africa.

The Federation of Anarchists of Greece (OAE) is calling for a further action in terms of unity and organisation by the strikers themselves and also the mass social movement in South Africa, until the final victory of the strike.

Forward to revolutionary mass action!

Federation of Anarchists of Greece (OAE) – International Relations

13/6/2007

author by National Confederation of Labour - (France)publication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 19:24Report this post to the editors

FRANCE: NATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF LABOUR (CNT) SUPPORT FOR PUBLIC SECTOR STRIKE

The French CNT, informed by its comardes of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation (southern Africa), wants to give all its support to the public sector strikers, not just in their demand for a wage increase of 12%, which has now been reduced to 10%, but also in their struggle to improve the standard of all public sector services. We also strongly condemn the south african government's attempt to intimidate workers into ending the strike by issuing dismissal notices to striking workers, and by using apartheid-era police brutality against picketers. We support the workers' demands that any agreement reached must be accompanied by the unconditional reinstatement of any and all workers dismissed during the strike.

An injury to one is an injury to all !
International solidarity

CNT-France
Paris, tuesday 12th of june 2007

Related Link: http://www.cnt-f.org/
author by Workers Solidarity Alliancepublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 21:11author email wsany at hotmail dot comReport this post to the editors

The W.S.A. continues to stand in solidarity with the working people of South Africa.

We have stood by you during the fight against aparthied. We have stood with you in your struggle for independent class based unions. We have stood by you during the fight against retrenchments and restructuring. And we will continue to stand by you today in this fight for a living wage and pension.

Workers Solidarity Alliance
National Office

Related Link: http://www.workersolidarity.org
author by Nestor - Anarkismopublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 23:51Report this post to the editors

This article in Italian:

Related Link: http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=5817
author by Jonathan - ZACFpublication date Sat Jun 16, 2007 19:02Report this post to the editors

A bit more about the strike here:

Related Link: http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/david_beresford/200....html
author by Lauren Anzaldo, John Kalwaic, Mike Pesa - International Solidarity Commission (IWW)publication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 16:53Report this post to the editors

The International Solidarity Commission (ISC) of the Industrial Workers of the World – a democratic, worker-led international labor union headquartered in the United States – supports the massive public sector strike in South Africa as workers fight for a higher wage and improved services. This fight is part of a larger struggle to overturn a larger system of inequality in which legislators vote for raises for themselves at the expenses of workers who run the schools, hospitals and other services.

The ISC condemns the government’s attempts to intimidate striking workers by issuing dismissal notices, as well as the use of police brutality against picketers. We endorse the workers’ demands that any agreement reached to conclude this strike must also include the reinstatement of all fired workers.

We commend the display of solidarity shown by the approximately 1 million workers who are rallying together for an improved quality of life and the collective good of all workers. The ISC stands in solidarity with these and all fellow workers.

Lauren Anzaldo, John Kalwaic, Mike Pesa
International Solidarity Commission
Industrial Workers of the World
PO Box 23085, Cincinnati, OH 45223-3085, USA solidarity@iww.org

Related Link: http://www.iww.org/
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