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Cosatu to implement 2015 plan

28th November 2003


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The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), which concluded a meeting of its Central Executive Committee (CEC) last week, says it is ready to move towards the implementation of it new 12-year strategy.

The programme, named the Consolidating Working Class Power for Quality Jobs Towards 2015, was adopted earlier this year.

Then last week, the CEC adopted a detailed strategy for the next three years to implement the strategy, whereby, central to the programme is to build Cosatu and strengthen the collective power of the organised workers and working class in general.

Elements of the political programme include strengthening the alliance, improving its participation on governance issues, strengthening the mass democratic movement, and developing strategies for business and ideological contestation.

Job retention and creation would be at the centre of its socio-economic strategies.

The CEC noted with concern that workers’ overall wages increased around 2% less than inflation in 2001-2002, with part-time workers seeing the biggest losses.

The minimum wage is still below R2 500 in most sectors, below supplemented living level for 2002 for a family of 5, which was at R2330, 89.

Amongst the worst paying sectors are clothing, cleaning, domestic labour and farming.

Unemployment has continued to rise and workers have to support more dependants with their wages.

Pay has, on average, declined in real terms in the past two years, even though productivity has risen.

As part of implementation of the 2015 plan, in 2004 the union shall demand increases; seek to settle at 2% - 3% above CPI to compensate for the decline in their wages in 2001 and 2002, and will fight against outsourcing, subcontracting and for tight regulation of labour brokers.

Additionally, they said they would push for agency shops in order to discourage free riders that benefit immensely from the collective strength of its members; demand a package of measures to deal with the HIV and Aids epidemic and between now and February define in more detail what the union says it means by a ‘living wage’, including both wage and non-wage demands.

The 8th National Congress had instructed the CEC to discuss the forty-three socio-economic resolutions that could not be dealt with in the congress.


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