The Congress of South African Trade Unions salutes and congratulates the thousands of workers, who withdrew their labour yesterday and participated in the COSATU led National Strike. The federation is more than happy with the overall turnout and participation by workers in yesterday’s National Strike. COSATU remains the only organisation that can organise thirteen marches in the middle of the working week all across the country. Yesterday’s proved once again that the federation is alive and well and ready to lead from the front in the fight against State Capture, Corruption and job losses.
We are grateful to our affiliates for mobilising workers and providing transport for them to attend the strike. As usual, the strike by the federation was characterized by discipline, passion and a cheerful atmosphere.
COSATU proved once again that it remains committed to worker control and democracy because when the workers demanded a strike against state capture and corruption the federation acceded to their demands. The federation keeps silencing its critics with actions and not with words. The national strike proved that this workers organisation remains a social force for change, transformation and the home of all workers.
Yesterday’s strike was just the beginning and we will continue to mobilise and push back against the criminal phenomenon of State Capture and the cancer of Corruption. The future of our economy, our kids and our democracy is at stake if we fail to dismantle the patronage network that is looting the state coffers. Our jobs and our retirement savings as workers are at stake if we do not fight back against the cancer of corruption that can be found both in the public and private sectors. We are going back o the drawing board to sharpen and intensify our tactics to fight against state capture and corruption because we know that the journey will be long and hard. Big business and government need to understand that workers are running out of patience and they demand real change now.
The workers unambiguously reaffirmed the character of COSATU, as a militant, radical and class oriented federation of trade unions. We are committed to continue with the task given to us by the 12th National Congress ;to build a COSATU whose influence on society remains based on its organised power and its capacity to mobilise. We will continue to rollout our socio – economic programmes, lobby and mobilise in support of our pro- poor policies and also participate in political and social alliances.
We shall continue to ceaselessly work to build a federation that will remain occupied with the immediate concerns of its members, as well as with the broader social and political issues.
While COSATU still commands the majority support among workers, we are committed to serving the interests not just of our members but of all workers. We shall continue to work for the unity of the workers and the working class. The fragmentation of the workers is encouraged and supported by those who are looking after their interests and not those of the workers.
COSATU remains unapologetic about its involvement in politics. We are of the firm view that factory-based struggles cannot be divorced from politics. Even from a pure working class and economic position, it is completely naive to limit workers struggles to factory-floor issues. Politics determines who holds state power; who makes the laws; who controls the police, the courts, the army and prisons. All these issues affect workers everyday and cannot be ignored. Without addressing these questions the factory gains made by workers are in danger of being wiped out and repealed by anti-worker policies of an incumbent government.
Issued by COSATU