Statement of support and solidarity with SAMWU strike
Thursday 15 April 2010 by Nic
The Anti-Privatisation Forum, a social movement with over 30 community affiliates expresses its full support and solidarity with the ongoing national strike by the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU).
As the APF, we have always championed the struggles of organised workers since we know that the kind of fundamental, anti-capitalist change we need can never become a reality without the combined forces that make up the broad working class.
The struggles that the communities in the APF wage (for equitable and accessible basic services, for meaningful political and economic democracy and against capitalist neoliberalism in all its forms) are directly linked to the struggles waged by organised workers such as those in SAMWU (for a decent, living wage, for equality and justice in the workplace and for the quality provision of public services, especially for the poor).
We are aware that the present national strike by SAMWU has been undertaken after many futile attempts to get the South African Local Government Agency (SALGA) to listen to the workers legitimate grievances and demands. Our communities have continually faced exactly the same arrogance from local government officials and representatives. We are in a common struggle against a common enemy.
We are also all too aware of the continued efforts, whether by government or the private sector, to create division and conflict between organised workers and poor communities that weakens the broad working class in our common struggles. We cannot allow the temporary disruptions in the provision of services at the local level, as a result of the strike, to drive a wedge between communities and municipal workers. Just as poor communities use their collective power to win legitimate demands, so too do organised workers use their collective power to do the same. It is in this context that the APF stands side-by-side with the SAMWU workers in their present strike.
We join SAMWU in demanding that SALGA negotiate in good faith and show respect for the need and lives of workers. The broad working class that encompasses poor communities and organised workers cannot, and will not, continue to carry the dominant burden of the crises within the capitalist system. We cannot, and will not, accept the ever increasing socio-economic inequalities that continue to see the bosses (whether in government or in the private sector), the parasitical speculators, the tenderpreneurs etc. live their lives of luxury at the expense of that working class.