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What Cosatu believes in

"We the trade unions meeting here today, say to all that we want a united South Africa. We say no more apartheid, low wages, poverty and hunger.

We believe that we can only win if the working people are united, and lead the struggle. From our own struggles in the past, we know what we must do:

  • We must build. strong trade unions. Workers In the factories, mines, shops, farms and other work' places' must control and own the unions. We must organize all workers who are not yet members of trade unions.

  • We believe in "One industry, One Union." All workers working iun the same industry must belong to the same union. Our member trade unions must join together. We want 10 big unions instead of 33 smaller unions. We also believe that unions must get money from their members - if members pay for the union, they will control the union.

  • We believe in "One Federation, One Country." All workers in the country must belong to unions that belong to the same Federation. Workers must control this Federation.

  • We must fight against all divisions in our struggle. There will be no apartheid in Cosatu. Any worker can be a member - and become a leader, if they are chosen.

  • We must build strong worker organization and worker leaders in South Africa.

  • We must work with other organizations that are fighting apartheid - like com­munity organizations and youth groups.

  • We must give support to workers in other countries - then they will give support to our struggle in South Africa.

We call on all of those who share our beliefs to join us as comrades in the struggle. "AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL"


At the meeting in Durban, Cosatu told South Africa and the world about some of the things they will be fighting for. They also showed that they are not scared to say what they think - and that they won't be scared to use their power.

For example, Cosatu say that they don't like bantustans and bantustan leaders. They were not scared to say this - even to Mangosuthu Buthelezi. And they also gave the government a warning. If the government sends workers from other countries back home, Cosatu will call a national strike - a strike in every factory, shop and office.

Here are some of the other things that Cosatu will be fighting for:

An end to the State of Emergency. They also want the army and troops out of the townships. And they want all political prisoners out of the jail.

And end to the bantustans. Cosatu wants one South Africa, with one person one vote.

No Trade or Sport With South Africa. Cosatu wants other countries to do all they can to end apartheid .

Women must be treated like people. Cosatu wants women to get equal pay for equal work. They also want fuII maternity rights - the right for a woman to have a baby and not lose her job, with pay.

The Right to Strike. Cosatu believes that it is every worker's right to strike in the struggle against bad working conditions and bad pay.

An end to migrant labour and the pass laws. Workers must work where they want. And workers must live where they want - and with who they want.

A living wage for all workers. Cosatu wants a national minimum wage - that is a wage that no worker must get less than. Cosatu also wants an end to GST on food and other things that people need every day.

A Job for all healthy men and women. Cosatu bel ieves that a job is every worker's right. They will fight retrenchment and they will fight for a 40-hou r week with no overtime. They will try to help workers who have no jobs - by fighting for more U I F money and by starting a union for unemployed workers.


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