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Published: 03 Feb 2010
|SA: Statement by the Presidency, on the President’s meeting with an American Labour delegation (03/02/2010)|
|President Jacob Zuma today met with the leadership of the Service Employees International Union, (SEIU), a North American union with more than 2.2 million members across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
The Union delegation also included United States actor and social activist, Mr Danny Glover, who is the Chairman of the TransAfrica Forum. The SEIU delegation was led by its President, Mr Andrew Stern. President Zuma was accompanied by the Minister of Economic Development, Mr Ebrahim Patel.
The union represents workers in the service sector, including public services, health care and security services.
The top leaders of SEIU are visiting South Africa to learn more about the political, economic and social dynamics of the country. The delegation is specifically interested in the situation of workers and unions, as well as how the policies of the South African government will position the country in the global economy.
The SEIU has a partnership with a South African union (Satawu) to organize workers in global security services companies.
The meeting discussed the following amongst others:
• How South Africa canaccess the provident and pension funds of progressive labour unions in the USA through investment in projects that will address South Africa's development objectives.
• Promotion of inward, foreign direct investment, for example encouraging American companies to invest in South Africa to create decent work.
• To encourage tourism by American workers into South Africa.
Mr Glover, who was wearing a suit made by South African SACTWU workers, emphasized his support for the ongoing interaction, which builds on historical relations forged during the struggle against apartheid.
President Zuma and Minister Patel undertook to ensure ongoing dialogue to ensure that the discussions and idea bear fruit.
SEIU Delegation to South Africa
Andrew Stern SEIU President
Anna Burger SEIU Secretary-Treasurer
Bruce Raynor SEIU Executive Vice-President
George Gresham SEIU Vice President
Keith Kelleher SEIU Vice President
Yvonne Walker SEIU Vice President
Danny Glover Chairman, TransAfrica Forum; International Human Rights
Activist and actor.
James Early Trans Africa Forum; Director Cultural Heritage Policy Center
for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Dr. Steven Safyer CEO Montefiori Medical Center of New York
Carl Leinonen Regional Director, SEIU Global Organising Department