We won’t be joining Vavi’s federation – SAMWU

Union also rejects the notion that it is in crisis, says it is intact with properly constituted leadership

SAMWU Will Remain an Affiliate of COSATU

15 April 2016

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) has noted talks of the formation of a new federation with union’s name being thrown around as those who will be joining this ill-conceived formation. We will never be part of an organisation which has been formed out of bitterness and anger. Anybody who thinks that they will take SAMWU to this grouping is only lying to themselves. 

SAMWU has congress resolutions which have confirmed, affirmed and reaffirmed our affiliation to COSATU. Ours is a historical relationship with COSATU politically and ideologically. Unions who merged to form SAMWU were founding members of COSATU and as such we have a responsibility to ensure the continued survival and growth of COSATU.

It would only take a properly constituted National Congress to resolve otherwise on our affiliation to COSATU. The union and its members are unambiguous on the affiliation and as such talks of the contrary is mischievous and should be condemned as it seeks so confuse members who resolved on this issue.

We urge our members to fully participate in the upcoming May Day celebrations hosted by COSATU. To show our support for May Day, SAMWU National Office Bearers have been deployed by COSATU as speakers in various venues for that day.

We further want to dispel notions that the union is in a crisis, SAMWU remains intact with properly constituted leadership as elected by the 11thNational Congress. Although these are challenging times, we will come out of this victorious. We further reaffirm our commitment to servicing our members as they remain the pillar of this union.

Lastly, we distance ourselves from this grouping and further urge those responsible to desist from using our name for their own political gains. SAMWU remains an affiliate in good standing of COSATU.


SAMWU Reaffirms its Commitment to Servicing Members

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) hereby reaffirms its commitment to its members. As a worker controlled and worker orientated union, our primary focus is the servicing of our members without whom this union would not exist.

We are particularly concerned by certain disgruntled individuals who have ordained themselves supreme leaders of the union particularly in the Cape Metro wherein they have closed the provincial office. This is a clear sign that these individuals do not care about servicing members but their own personal interests at the expense of our members.

In an effort to implement our primary focus, we have derived means which will ensure that our members are serviced. All shopstewards who have legitimate travel claims are hereby requested to direct them to the national finance office where they will receive our urgent attention. We have put this measure in place to ensure that our members are serviced no matter what.

We send a stern warning to employers who are colluding with these disgruntled individuals to redirect members’ subscriptions to other accounts. We have a main collective agreement with SALGA which is binding to all municipalities, such agreement is clear on the issue of subscriptions that they should be sent directly to the head office. Any employer who does contrary to this will be in violation of the agreement and further more they would be party to fraudulent activities which we definitely would not turn a blind eye on. We will ensure that those involved are criminally charged.

The National Office Bearers remain committed to all activities of the union to continue as normal, and Shopstewards activity to continue and supported by the union leadership. We urge our members to join hands with us in building a vibrant and strong SAMWU, that continue to champion the needs of our member.

As indicated earlier, our primary focus is our members. We have developed an open door policy for all our members who either seek clarity or assistance in cases where those who are busy destabilising the union instead of servicing members are involved.

Issued by Simon Mathe, SAMWU General Secretary, 15 April 2016