ROUND ONE – AND THE FIGHT IS ON
At last! At last! It’s round one and the fight is on. In one corner we have the useless unemployment insurance fund. And in the other corner, we have thousands of people without work and without hope. These people need your help.
Why do we ask for your help? Because one day YOU may lose your job. We know how most of you feel about the U I F anyway. “It’s a waste of time,” you will say. “It’s just like paying tax. You pay and pay – and then you get nothing back”. And you will ask:
“Have you tried getting UIF money? They send you here, they send you there, they send you everywhere. You only get your money after a long, long time if you are lucky.”
The workers have thrown the first punch. This month the government will get a long letter. The letter will tell them just what the workers think of the UIF. And it will tell them about the many problems workers have with U IF.
A special committee from five advice offices wrote the letter. The committee took two years to write the letter – because they had much to say. And because they also wanted trade unions to see it. Trade unions saw the letter. And many signed it.
“The government will get the letter soon. But the letter won’t be enough,” says a person on the committee. “The government won’t change anything because of the letter. The letter will just be the start. We need help. Workers in trade unions and all other workers must join the struggle for a better UIF.
“We have also made a list of demands for workers to read and talk about. This list has some of the changes we want for the U IF. If workers want us to add anything to this list, they must please write to us. We can still add more demands to the list. But most of all, we want workers to use this list. Workers must have meetings and talk about the demands. And then they must decide what action they can take.”
If workers want to learn more about the U IF, the committee will try to help them. The committee will have special meetings to talk to workers about the U IF. The committee wants workers to come and learn about the U IF – and then these workers can tell other workers about the UIF.
So read the demands below. If you have any more demands, write to the committee. Or write and tell the committee what you think workers can now do. Also write if you want to learn more about the UIF.
SEND YOUR LETTERS TO: The U I F Committee P.O. Box 261119 EXCOM 2023
THE DEMANDS FOR A BETTER UIF
(Learn and Teach does not have space to give you all the demands. We only give you the main demands).
WE WANT ONE FUND FOR ALL WORKERS IN SOUTH AFRICA Now domestic, farm, seasonal and most government workers can’t get money from the UIF. Now the “independent” homelands have got their own funds. We say workers must have one fund for all.
WE WANT MORE UIF MONEY FOR A LONGER TIME Now we get 45% of our last wage for not longer than 6 months. This is not enough. We want at least 60% of our last wage for one year. Now we get our money by cheque. We must decide if we want our money in cash or by cheque.
WE MUST NOT WAIT FOR MORE THAN ONE WEEK FOR OUR UIF MONEY Now we often wait for a long time before we get our UIF money. Now if we don’t have a blue card then we can’t get our U I F money. We say that the bosses must fill in forms when we leave our jobs. Then we can get our money even if we don’t have a blue card. We must not wait for more than one week.
WE MUST DECIDE WHERE WE WANT TO COLLECT OUR UIF MONEY Now many workers must travel long distances to get their money. We say that the government must open more offices where we can get UIF money. Workers must not travel more than 25 kilometres to get their money. Now migrant workers must get their money in the homelands. We say that workers must decide where they want to get their money. Now all workers must sign for their money every 2 weeks. We say that workers in rural workers must get their money once a month. Now we can’t send someone else to collect our money. We say that if there is a problem, then a worker can send somebody else to fetch the money. The worker must sign a letter in front of a magistrate or commissioner of oaths explaining why they can’t collect their money.
WE DON’T WANT NUMBERS ON OUR BLUE CARDS Now many bosses will not employ us if they see number 3 on our blue cards. We say that the bosses must not put the numbers 1,2, or 3 on our blue cards. They must put the numbers on a form.
WE NEED ANOTHER FUND TO HELP WORKERS WHO HAVE FINISHED GETTING MONEY FROM THE UIF AND FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER WORKED Now many students finish school and can’t find jobs. They can’t get money from the U I F because they have never given any money to the U IF. Now many workers stay unemployed for a long time. But they can’t get money from the U I F for more than 6 months. We say the government must start a special new fund for these people.
THE BOSSES AND THE GOVERNMENT MUST GIVE MORE MONEY TO THE UIF Now the bosses pay less money than the workers to the U IF. For every 5 cents workers give, the bosses give 3 cents. We say the bosses must pay the same money as their workers. If a worker pays 5 cents then the boss must also pay 5 cents. Now the government only gives R7 million to the UI F every year. We say that the government must give at least the same money that all the bosses and workers give together.
WORKERS MUST HAVE MORE CONTROL OVER THE UIF Now the committees which control the UIF do not talk for most of the workers who pay money to the UI F. We say that the Minister of Manpower must call a meeting of all worker leaders to decide who must sit on the committees.
THESE ARE OUR DEMANDS FOR A BETTER UIF. BUT WE SAY THERE IS ONLY ONE REAL ANSWER. EVERY WORKER MUST HAVE A JOB. A JOB IS EVERY WORKER’S RIGHT.
JOBS FOR ALL AT A LIVING WAGE!