NEHAWU has the following core principles
- To recruit and unite workers into one single union in order to share their economic and social welfare;
- To protect the job security of members, to advance their employment prospects, and to serve their individual and collective interests;
- To foster unity, co-operation and comradeship amongst all workers within the scope of the union and other industries;
- To establish relationships with other trade unions, trade union federations and labour organisations for the benefit of members of the union; and
- To build international working class solidarity and bi-lateral relations with trade unions internationally.
Comrade Pholotho, who was later known as “Timer”, certainly hit the nail on the head when he said: “We involved workers in politics. Ours was the right strategy. We were not confined to the workplace”. The struggle was more than the bread and butter issues. Clements Kadalie’s Industrial Commercial Union (ICU), formed in 1919, was similar.
“The ICU reached out to the rural masses, taking up their demand for land and recruiting tens of thousands of peasants, including a number of chiefs.”
Many comrades charted the way for us – EJ Khaile, J La Guma, John Gomas and de Norman built the labour movement through the ICU. Another union was the Industrial Workers of Africa. Stalwarts from the 1940s and 1950s include Selby Msimang, Moses Kotane, JB Marks, Moses Mabida and Joe Slovo.
Our Challenges Today
Government has called for submissions towards the NHI Green Paper by 12 October
While NEHAWU agrees to the stated principles:
Secondly, the NHI which NEHAWU advocates must be consistent with the principles of a developmental state and cannot become a profit-making scheme for the private health industry.
There are aspects of health transformation that as NEHAWU, we consider essential building blocks and must be financed by NHI to provide health services to all people of South Africa. The key non-negotiable feature is that, the fund must be publicly administered and must be the only fund that will pay for the health services that are delivered to all. .
This will ensure that all the collected funds are pooled and will allow for social solidarity so that high income earners and those who are wealthy can support the poor and vulnerable people such as the elderly and chronically sick. We will cover the details of the NHI in further bulletins and meetings.
NEHAWU is in COSATU for one strong workers' voice, to unite with workers from other progressive sections of our South African society. NEHAWU is the biggest Public Sector Union and the biggest in the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council, a negotiations structure for public service employees in South Africa.