CAW Roundtable with South Africa

Toronto, Ontario

September 27, 2011


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CAW Labour Day 2011
CAW Roundtable with South Africa
dated September 27, 2011

Toronto, Ontario
September 27, 2011

      

Toronto, Ontario
September 27, 2011



Laurell Ritchie
CAW National Representative

       "We will take this morning to look at both, some of the challenges we are confronting with precarious work and also look at some of the initiatives or ideas that people have for meeting that challenge and resisting it."


 Irvin Jim
National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa General Secretary

       "We are a country that is very young that actually achieved democracy seventeen years ago. I think one of the fundamental things that has happened was that we won political power in our country and we quickly learned while we were busy celebrating that political power without economic power was meaningless for South Africans. You still have a situation where the bulk majority of our people, black people in general, Africans in particular are still ravaged by perpetual poverty. As we speak we are at a point where there is a consensus within the labour movement, That we are in fact facing a triple crisis of unemployment, poverty and serious levels of inequality. It is quite clear that our situation we are facing is global with this race to the bottom. I think this race to the bottom needs all of us to work outside just nation states."


Deena Ladd
Workers' Action Centre

       "Just as what you guys have talked about in terms of South Africa, what we are finding here is that employers are using a whole range of strategies to shed any responsibility directly for their workforce. This is in terms of human rights, health and safety, any access to basic wages, any benefits all those kinds of fundamental issues. It is a strategy that has to take place on a number of levels. It's about mobilizing at the base, it's about politicization, it's about legislative strategies, it's around how we work together with unions, how unions are working themselves and how community organizations can work with unions to try and build this fightback."


Shannon Jacquier
IQT Action Co-ordinator

       "At ten o'clock in the morning Bell pulled our contract, at ten o five IQT went into receivership. You are not getting your paycheque. You do not have a job, sorry. They left five hundred people in Oshawa stranded approximately six to seven hundred people in Quebec stranded, no pay, we were not unionized we were left to fend for ourselves."


Alex Mashilo
National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa

       "Unemployment creation, inequality creation, poverty creation is very good for capitalism. In fact when a society has high unemployment, high inequality and high levels of poverty, that is a indication of how successful the system is. We have to come to our senses about the internationalist nature of the battle that we are fighting. While the battlefield in most instances is the national sphere. I think the action must be internationalist and must have international linkages. So the same way capitalist managed to globalize neo liberalism, we must globalize our struggle."

CAW Fighting Back Makes A Difference.


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