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ABOUT THE UNION
A history of agitating and fighting against the exploitation and discrimination of workers
The National Association of South African Workers (NASA) emerges from the commitment to promoting the dignity of all human beings and their efforts to participate in the Economic development of their communities, societies, countries and global community in general. It is however, premised on the notion that the struggles of the workers alternatively referred to Labour against the exploitative practices of the employers and owners of Capital must be challenged.
NASA Workers was founded by the Advocates for social justice and activists who contend the exploitation and trivialization of the contributions of workers to industry, public sector and Universities who have in the 21st Century, prioritized the maximization of Profit, the violation of the Human rights values of decent work and the casualization of work. In particular, the urgent concern for its formation, was the rampant outsourcing of staff and work in the Post-School Education Sectors (PSET) / Universities to private sectors who demonstrated no respect for the services entwined with the academic success of Higher Education and Universities in South Africa.
NASA Workers and activists affirm the ideal that the restoration of the dignity of workers exploited by service providers and universities in what is termed outsourcing largely benefits few individuals who violate the rights of their employees.
NASA Workers derive their mandate from the from a calls of multitudes of vulnerable workers who have frequently made appeals to the former student activists, in particular, the Inaugural President of the Student Movement Economic Freedom Fighters Students Command (EFFSC) and now General Secretary of NASA Workers Mpho Morolane to assist in intervening in their abuses and exploitation at various companies, universities, mines and retail sectors. The Founding and current President of NASA Workers Tlou Malebana also has emerged from the struggles of outsourced workers, and in particular was an outsourced employee. He, alongside other outsourced workers played an instrumental role in inviting former students’ activist to form and lead the union. NASA Workers was officially founded in winter, June 2018 in Tshwane (Pretoria).
In the year 2015 workers of the University of South Africa embarked in a revolutionary struggle against outsourcing with the assistance of student leadership of which our General Secretary Mpho Morolane played a key role as a vanguard of the struggle. Workers once in-sourced requested the former student leaders to assist them to fight against their poor working conditions and the call for action propelled the formation of NASA-Workers.
Untouchable and unstoppable
NASA-Workers is defiant against the status quo which seeks to further the exploitation of workers through poor working conditions, slave wages and labour brokers.
We remain unshaken in the struggle against labour brokers, our fight is both on the ground, through policy formation and advocacy for social and economic justice, Human rights, training and development of workers and their communities It is only through the unwavering determination, growth in numbers, in power of the withdrawal of the Labour force and intelligence, that NASA Workers shall emancipate workers in South Africa, the African continent and the world from the might, exploitation, discrimination and profiteering which are central to the exploitative practices of the owners of Capital and their functionaries.
The principles of NASA-Workers
The members of the National Association of South African Workers, firmly commit ourselves to the values enshrined in the PanAfrican ideals and the emancipatory economic theoretical modes, including Marxist Labour Theory in their articulation.
We are firmly committed in promoting sustainable institutions’ which respect the plight of humanity and the environment. We pledge to relentlessly fight to end working class exploitation and oppression; we pledge to organize and promote working class unity both in the territory of the Republic and internationally.
Our struggle is grounded on the, notions that:
- Class is no longer adequate as a description of the toiling masses of the people under colonial/racial/ gender, digital exploitative/global capitalism;
- Since capital is transnational, labour mobilization has to take into account the transnational character of its members and of Multinational/ transnational corporations, Multi-lateral and globalization of these;
- A labour formation of today has to be a school for the study of global capitalism in its racial patriarchal, sexist, and colonial modes of operations, as part of empowerment of its constituencies;
- The resurgent decolonial movements have to be taken seriously and integrated into labour formations and analysis.
Our Political Overview
The National Association of South African Workers further acknowledges the class antagonisms that exist in the bourgeoisie society, in the post democratic South Africa the exploitation of workers remains legislated and authorized by the Labour Laws. The Workers continue to be used by the ruling elites to provide services and they maximize profits but pay workers meager wages;
The South African labour force is the most exploited in the world because the exploitation is authorized by the government itself through unjust laws such as deregulation, that make sure that people remain used for the labour purposes, The outsourcing of cleaning and security services all under the guise of saving cost is the injustice that black poor and dispossessed people in particular, have been subjected to perpetually and all other poor peoples which must be eradicated.
NASA-Workers therefore seeks to exist to challenge the hegemonic status quo as well the organized capitalist system that subject workers to corrosive working conditions and labour brokering.
Mainstream Unions in South Africa have to a large extent become nonchalant about the worker’s issues and NASA-Workers carries a mandate that everything it does it is always on the side of the most vulnerable workers who are not valued enough because they are traded in exchange for commodity by the bourgeoisie. The struggle of workers is a struggle that NASA-Workers think is a sin qua non because it is also a racially motivated exploitation, the years of colonial conquest where the indenture system began in the cape to force black people to work ,leave families and don’t get anything, it was a dichotomic process that epistemological the system had prepared to push for every years. Black people continued to work under those conditions through the slave labour and the indenture system, but it was tantamount to labour brokering we see today.
Over years none of the unions in this country have been able to understand the relationship between race and Labour exploitation of black people, NASA-Workers of which the obvious reason of exploitation has been delineated through the ownership of the economy, those who are the oligarchs and monopolies are the current employers and exploiters. The union advocate for the direct employment no labour brokering nor outsourcing of the people if the world really values human rights or magna carter.
NASA-Workers union believe in the theory of labour to achieve the economic justice for workers as it is provided in the communist manifesto “But with the development of industry, the proletariat not only increases in number, it becomes concentrated in greater masses, its strength more. The various interests and conditions of life within the ranks of the proletariat are more and more equalized, in proportion as machinery obliterates all distinction of labour, and nearly everywhere reduces wages to the same low level. The growing competition among the bourgeois, and the resulting commercial crises, make the wages of the workers even more fluctuating. The increasing improvement of machinery, even more rapidly developing, make their livelihood more and more precarious, the collisions between two classes. Thereupon, the workers begin to form combinations against the bourgeoise, they club together in order to keep up the rate of wages they found permanent associations in order to make provision beforehand for these occasional revolts” Karl Marx and F Engels Manifesto of the communist party.
Furthermore, the contradictions of this capitalist system is that they propose retrenchments to cut Labour costs and other cost to justify themselves, but the truth is that the workers are members of the society who are later expected to buy from the very same firms that are retrenching, machines can be put they cannot buy, or supersede a role of a customer to buy therefore the level of income as well as that of demand gets affected respectively.
Engaging the Fourth Industrial Revolution
One of focus of NASA Workers is to ensure that the fight for Justice against exploitation is promoted, particularly with regards to the phenomenon of the current waves of changes in global economic trends, referred to as “the Fourth Industrial Revolution”. NASA Workers will agitate for the training and re-skilling of workers to ensure that they are not forced out of work as has become vogue, through the employment of robotics, artificial intelligence, automation, drones and new interfaces of technologies and biology’s. NASA Workers will ensure that empirical research and the experiences of workers in South Africa and across the world shape emergent advocacy approaches to respond to these new challenges. We will also align with progressive forces who are committed to Justice and fairness in the workplace and outside.