COSATU leaders, as well as leaders from the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and the Swaziland Federation of Labour, met in South Africa on July 15 to prepare for an international conference to be held in Johannesburg next month. The conference is set to mobilise solidarity with the people of both Zimbabwe and Swaziland in their struggle for democracy and human rights.
According to a COSATU statement the meeting, “agreed on the need to build the capacity of the trade union movement into a neatly weaved programme of action” and as such “the Southern African Trade Union Co-ordinating Council and individual affiliates in the region need deeper engagement to institutionalise solidarity as a permanent feature of the regional trade union movement”.
“Supported calls for an interim government to be set up in Zimbabwe until such a time that free and fair elections can be held,” COSATU’s Patrick Craven said. The meeting agreed to oppose “Western powers initiated sanctions” in favour of a “united workers movement in forms of demonstrations at Zimbabwe’s borders.”
Craven said this move is “preferable to Western imposed sanctions because we suspect they have their own agenda that will not benefit the people of Zimbabwe.”
Craven said the federation would rather see a “grassroots movement of solidarity” and in this regard, it has called on workers in the region and world wide to refuse to handle goods destined for Zimbabwe, for an initial period of one week. Craven said this week of action is merely an attempt to “accelerate progress towards democratic change” and added that COSATU “has no interest in bringing the people of Zimbabwe into more abject poverty than they already find themselves in.”
Craven said the plan for a world wide workers’ boycott will be approved at next month’s solidarity conference in Johannesburg. He added that COSATU and other regional trade unions already follow a policy “to refuse to assist the leaders of Zimbabwe’s illegitimate government” to continue putting pressure on the Robert Mugabe regime. He said workers in South Africa, SADC, Africa and the world over, as well as all progressive citizens, have been urged to work towards a total isolation of Mugabe and his government by ensuring Mugabe and his “government” is not served at airports, restaurants, and
shops. – SW Radio AFricaPost published in: News