The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) joins the millions of workers across the globe in celebrating May Day as an international event, affirming the dignity of labour and uniting people of the world in a common struggle for peace and socio-economic progress. By doing so, we are ensuring that workers’ rights are defended and the Federation’s unity is safe-guarded.
We know too well that the fight against slavery precedes the modern day workers’ struggles, otherwise termed as ‘modern day slavery’, pointing out to the fact that under an evolving capitalist mode of production, the highest stage of imperialism, the life of man is but a struggle for the attainment of a better life. For so long as capitalism exists, the struggle for workers’ rights shall continue.
It was on the basis of the brewing disregard for workers’ rights by the capitalist bosses that in May1886, workers undertook a strike in parts of the Unite States of America for lesser working hours. That sparked their determination in directly confronting the capitalist authorities for better living standards, shorter working time, a living wage, a system for social security and improved working conditions, aspects which COSATU affiliates and the federation itself prioritise to this day.
In appreciating the essence of the impact these struggles had during the apartheid-era South Africa, it is important to remind ourselves of the 1922 Rand Revolt where the CPSA (now the South African Communist Party) and its youth wing, the Young Communist League played a significant role in publicly supporting worker struggles whilst distancing themselves from racist connotations. A move which led to some of the structures’ first black recruits like Thomas Mbeki and Stanley Silwane, whom later played significant roles in the formations of a Trade Union Movement at the time, which formed a formidable basis for unionisation in our country.
As we remember our heroic struggles by our predecessors that have compromised their sweat and blood, POPCRU finds solace in the fact that workers and the working class will not and refuse to be sold to the highest bidder by those current enemies of progress, hidden in the same colour, preaching revolutionary rhetoric with the sole purpose of dividing our union movement.
The union calls for harmony amongst the workers, the South African working class and the continent over, a pre-condition which will allow dialogue towards exposing the real enemy, being monopoly capital which has over decades exploited our labour power value. We also call for an end to the recent xenophobic acts as they solely serve to destruct us from the core issues around labour relations with the capitalist bosses.
As we move across the length and breadth of our country tomorrow, we are more determined in defeating these imperialist agents who can only dream of destroying workers’ unity. We are resolute in fighting relentlessly for our workers’ rights and defending our Trade Union Federation COSATU! Let us defend the unity of the workers, Let us defend the unity of COSATU!!!
Issued by POPCRU 30/04/2015
For more information contact:
POPCRU Media & Communications Officer
Tel: 011 242 4615
Cell: 079 670 0274