Revolutionary Greetings Comrades,
The SATAWU (South African Transport and Allied Workers Union) National Office Bearers (NOBs) take this opportunity to commend our members, staff, shop stewards and all office bearers for the leadership provided and organisational discipline displayed during the industrial action.
Following the signing of the collective agreement between Transnet SOC Ltd and the United National Transport Union (UNTU) on 17 October 2022, a series of consultative meetings with our constituencies were convened to critically analyse the implications of such an agreement. Our members mandated the union on the following issues:
Even though the numerical majority opted to betray the struggle by secretly signing an anti-working class agreement with the employer, we have proven to be a cultural majority in areas of collective bargaining, organising and mobilisation. Our members expressed their real suffering by picketing at various sites of class struggle rather than stay-away from engaging in real collective and countervailing forms of action. The real industrial action commenced on 10 October 2022 after all loose ends from a procedural and legislative point of view were addressed by the union. Though our members have officially called off the industrial action today (19 October 2022), they were not only exposed to but contended with deep-rooted structural contradictions that can only be reversed through genuine class struggle.
We appreciate the solidary from the SACP (South African Communist Party), COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions), COSATU affiliates such as NEHAWU (National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union), ITF (International Transport Workers Federation) and WFTU (World Federation of Trade Unions). We express special gratitude to the COSATU NOBs, POBs (Provincial Office Bearers) and LOBs (Local Office Bearers) for intensifying the collective action by participating in the workers’ struggle. We equally commend the commonality of interest shared with NUMSA (National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa) and RETUSA (Revolutionary Transport Union of South Africa) in advancing the interests of the downtrodden stratum of the working class.
The effectiveness of the industrial action coupled with both domestic and international solidarity has demystified the nefarious notion that SATAWU will at a certain stage in development be a distant memory remembered through passages of selected works, retrieved from archives at the “museum of antiquities, by the side of the spinning-wheel and the bronze axe”.
We hope that the above is in order.