Tougher times ahead as tensions ratchet up in Europe

In a world wracked by ongoing economic crises, what is the role of trade unions? And if they focus
solely on “bread and butter issues”, are they, as National Union of Mineworkers spokesman Lesiba
Seshoka says, doomed to fail because “broader policies are shaped at a political level”.

Terry Bell

10 October 2012

Working for food at age 14

Sbu Jakavula is 14 years old. He lives in Du Noon township. He does not go to school. Instead he sells furniture from an informal stand.

Nokubonga Yawa

3 October 2012

Cold war echoes and trade union reform

Both the Cold War and the bitter battles between communists and social democrats in
Germany of the Thirties found an echo at the 11th Cosatu national congress in
Midrand last week; an echo that is now being assessed by labour organisations and
activists around the world.

Terry Bell

3 October 2012

Farm worker who loses finger alleges he has not been compensated

Fabiea Thokoana, a 39 year old worker at Kanetvlei Farm in Worcester, says that he is battling to obtain compensation after he lost his middle finger while on duty on 29 May this year.

Tariro Washinyira

19 September 2012

Cosatu Congress will paper over the cracks

Amid unprecedented media interest, Cosatu’s eleventh national congress gets underway in Midrand on Monday. Many of the nearly 300 journalists, photographers and members of camera crews accredited to attend the event are clearly expecting drama.

Terry Bell

19 September 2012

Government’s fuel policy makes us all poorer

Expect another hike in the price of petrol, diesel and paraffin in October. This is because the price is staying above $110 a barrel and the rand is weakening.

Jack Lewis

19 September 2012

Why fascism is a real danger

Last year Rhodes University academic Jane Duncan warned of "proto fascism" emerging in South Africa. At the same time, in an article for a local publication, I wrote that "the first loud, trumpet calls to fascism in modern South Africa have been sounded".

Terry Bell

12 September 2012

Sorting facts from propaganda at Marikana

“Money, historic distrust, poor communication by and between different parties and the intervention of a small criminal element provided the volatile mix that exploded into violence....."

Terry Bell

27 August 2012

Implats, Lonmin and the battle of the unions

Given the amount of often dangerous nonsense being sprouted about "anarchists" and about Amcu allegedly being a newly formed union sponsored by everyone from the Chamber of Mines to BHP Billiton, I provide this historic record: an Inside Labour column published on February 19 this year with which nobody from the NUM or SACP disagreed.

Terry Bell

22 August 2012

Know clearly what you want - and will fight for

That there is widespread and apparently growing cynicism within the labour movement about politics and politicians is perfectly understandable. Recent history provides many reasons, not least of them the corruption scandals, the circumstances surrounding the murder of Moss Phakoe and the ongoing school textbook crisis.

Terry Bell

8 August 2012

Hope amid the horror of joblessness and exploitation

Hope springs eternal in the human breast. So wrote the much-quoted 18th Century English poet, Alexander Pope. And, although this has all too often described the
futility of chasing after rainbows and never finding a promised pot of gold, hope continues to sustain millions of people in situations that, to the more fortunate, might seem hopeless.

Terry Bell

25 July 2012

Of transitions, nonsense and historical distortions

“What the country now needs is growth with social justice. And this will require the state to play a major role in creating the conditions and dictating the policy direction of economic growth.”

Terry Bell

4 July 2012

SA Inc and the search for a real alternative

South Africa Inc is a “fronting” exercise in which the people of the country are the hapless stooges giving credibility to a governing elite.

Terry Bell

27 June 2012

COSATU, Zille, Apartheid and the Youth Wage Subsidy

COSATU is facing an unprecedented onslaught. Is the federation, as Helen Zille claims, ‘the main roadblock in the road to job creation and redress’? And would ‘lowering the cost of employment’ be the ‘biggest single step towards solving the unemployment problem’?

Ilan Strauss and Doron Isaacs

12 June 2012

Of nationalisation, land grabs and vanguards

Over this past week, the National Union of Metalworkers congress has again put both nationalisation and the Freedom Charter firmly onto the political agenda.

Terry Bell

8 June 2012

The spearing of labour history

Many matters of national and regional importance have been neglected in the past two weeks, submerged beneath the fuss and furore caused by the charade surrounding the satirical Spear painting.

Terry Bell

4 June 2012