10 February 2013

South Africa: Fawu Rejects Attempts By Bawusa to Disrupt Fawu Meeting and Confuse Workers

The leadership of the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU), led by President Attwell Nazo and General Secretary Katishi Masemola, held a successful meeting with members and interested workers in De Doorns area today. Leadership thanked members of FAWU and workers in general for their understanding and discipline following FAWU calling off the strike.

During the meeting FAWU leadership also congratulated members for successfully applying the necessary pressure to encourage government to review the minimum wage, ultimately achieving a new national minimum wage increase of over 50%. Several serious issues were raised and in response FAWU undertook to work hard in De Doorns and also undertook to open an office in the area to focus on their labour concerns.

FAWU leadership and members were however extremely disturbed by an unscrupulous attempt to highjack and interrupt our meeting by the so-called Bawsi and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (BAWUSA). In fact we had to move our meeting some 100 meters away from the planned venue after about a dozen BAWUSA staff, including Nosey Pieterse, occupied the normal meeting point, where our meeting was planned.

Without informing the community of De Doorns, several minutes before our meeting was planned to start, they arrived with buses and several cars. Attempts were made by BAWUSA leaders to discourage and confuse our members, so as to avoid confusion or confrontation we made the mature decision to move our meeting 100 meters away.

We were, however, pleased that the FAWU meeting was able to draw several hundred workers, while the quickly convened disruptive meeting by BAWUSA saw less than 100 people, most of whom were bussed in from outside, listening to Nosey Pieterse.

We are now convinced that BAWUSA is a reckless union that does not care about workers, thus will no longer reserve our opinions. During the meeting Nosey was heard claiming that BAWUSA had an affiliation with COSATU and the ANC. It is our view that BAWUSA has misled the public and community about several things including their membership numbers, their democratic structure, their relationship with the ANC and COSATU, their role in the strike action and their intentions going forward.

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