On 4 Oct. the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) from South Africa held an ICT Workshop for twenty participants (four women) comprising Regional Organisers and Sugar Office Bearers of the KwaZulu Natal region (KZN).
The workshop, which also had the participation of the IT Coordinator and the Press Officer from FAWU national office, heard an overview of the challenges that sugar workers face in South Africa as a result of corporate strategies to move to other African sugar producing countries and the introduction of labour practices such as outsourcing (“labour brokers”). In addition, the challenge of organising farm workers remains.
Following the national discussion, the workshop learned about FAWU initiatives on Information Technology and how the KZN region, where the country’s cane and sugar production is concentrated, participates in it and the need to share information with FAWU press department. Next, the workshop recommended that in 2011 the IUF Africa Sugar project focuses on negotiations (with unions in Mozambique and Swaziland) and ICT training to complement FAWU’s work.
Part of the work program included attending a COSATU-KZN Shop Stewards Council on 3 Oct. with some 300 participants. The Council dealt with important issues like the suspended public service strike, which covers over 1 million workers; ANC policy matters, and the call for the nationalisation of mining companies. The shop stewards were invited to a 24-hr party on 4 Dec. in Johannesburg to celebrate COSATU’s 25th anniversary.