The Congress of South African Trade Unions congratulates and conveys its best wishes to its affiliated union SAMWU on its 35th Anniversary. We congratulate the union leadership and membership for this laudable milestone.
On this occasion, we expect all to take time to reflect on the union’s inspirational history and contribution, while imagining and plotting a bright and fruitful future for the benefit of municipal workers and South African workers in general.
It has been 35 years of strengthening and advancing collective bargaining rights for union members. SAMWU has a proud record of uniting the working class irrespective of their colour, gender, nationality, ideological or religious belief in the struggle for the social and workers’ rights, and in the struggle for their own interests.
The organisation’s stellar history deserves to be honoured but also used as an opportunity to learn lessons as workers design ways of navigating the current challenges and an unpredictable future.
This anniversary also arrives in the context where our SAMWU is emerging out of its worst episode of internal instability and paralysis. Nonetheless, the SAMWU of Petrus Mashishi survived and it is still standing firm. Indeed, our affiliated union has closed that chapter and it is moving on, as it capacitates itself to tackle challenges and battles ahead.
This knowledge and experience should come in handy as workers are collectively working together to defend their hard-won gains. This includes pushing for better remuneration, social security rights, qualitative education and health system, and an affordable and efficient transport system.
It has also been 35 years of international solidarity of workers and peoples of the world. The union has been at the forefront of solidarity with our sister unions around the world and strongly subscribe to working class internationalism as well as supporting peoples of the world in their struggles – the workers and the people of Swaziland, Venezuela, Cuba, and Palestine amongst others.
In its 35 years of existence, the union’s contribution to international solidarity campaigns is unparalleled. The Federation is looking at SAMWU to be at the forefront of efforts to unite the international working people as they fight the power of multinationals and imperialism in general.
Happy 35th Anniversary to SAMWU!
Long Live SAMWU! Long Live!
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794