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These "four solid years of painstaking deliberations", as Cosatu's first assistant general secretary, Sydney Mufamadi, labelled them, were marked by mistrust and conflict.
Differences of interest, of political outlook, of organisational methods and of personality had to be overcome before Cosatu could be born. Talks began in earnest during Augustwhen over representatives from 29 unions met in Langa, Cape Town.
It was a time of rapid growth for the unions, and the Langa summit was aimed at developing a united response to the Wiehahn report. The report had been released in and it recommended, for the first time in South Africa, the recognition of African workers' right to form and belong to trade unions.
But, as the emerging unions were aware, the provisions in the report also aimed to divide and control them. The summit passed a unanimous resolution rejecting "the present system of registration insofar as it is designed to control and interfere in the internal affairs of the union.
Some Fosatu and Cusa affiliates intended to register while other unions were opposed to registration. When Neil Aggett died, while in police custody, on 5 February at John Vorster Square, a shocked union movement decided to arrange a protest action.
If unity meant anything, it should include united responses to atrocities such as this. All union members were called to stop work for 30 minutes on 11 February.
A hundred thousand workers responded to the call, the majority of them members of Fosatu affiliates. While the Aggett stoppage was a limited action compared to some of the massive stayaways which occurred subsequently, it was the first union-organised initiative since the fifties attempting to mobilise workers nationally at their places of work, over an issue beyond the factory floor.
Registration debate The second unity summit took place in April at Wilgespruit and the registration debate dominated the meeting.
The anti-registration faction warned that registered unions would get caught up in a web of controls and would end up becoming reformist. The registration faction claimed to be aware of the dangers of co-option, arguing that it would be wrong to ignore the space opened up by workers' pressure on the state and employees.
Despite these disagreements, the summit resolved to continue to work towards a union federation.
The anti-registration camp - consisting of the seven 'community' unions: Positions were beginning to crystallise. The third summit, in Julyin Port Elizabeth, was the most bitter of all.
The seven 'community' unions put forward seven 'non-negotiable' principles as the basis of the new federation. Cusa's principles included black worker control, industrial unionism and a loose federation. The only principle the meeting could agree on was worker control, and even this was qualified by Cusa's emphasis on 'black worker control'.
The summit deadlocked and a terse press statement said it all: No further meeting is planned. And tensions developed between Fosatu and its allies on the one hand and Sactu and the ANC on the other. Common ground But the need for unity meant that talks would have to continue, sooner rather than later.
GWU initiated a fourth summit to discuss the practicalities of forming a federation.Collective Bargaining – The Basics Most U.S. workers have the legal right to form a union with co-workers and negotiate a binding contract with their employer over pay, benefits, and other work conditions.
Cosatu's core business. The transformation impasse that we are reeling under has established a code of debate" called, if you emphasise, you will marginalise yourself and the federation or you will be irrelevant to the realities (sic).
The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty rates to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date. For instance, our nation’s output of goods and services per hour worked (productivity, net of depreciation) grew 64 percent from to , while the inflation-adjusted hourly wage of the typical worker rose by just 6 percent.1 The single largest factor suppressing wage growth for middle-wage workers has been the erosion of collective bargaining.
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keep its decisions abreast of changing conditions, yet within the basic statute. Accordingly, with the passage of time no to encourage collective bargaining, and to eliminate certain practices on the part of labor and .