Philippines socialists: 'We are squarely behind NUMSA and the principles it is fighting for'

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November 12, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

To the comrades of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA),

The Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM, Party of the Labouring Masses), a socialist political party in the Philippines, sends its strongest solidarity to the comrades and leaders of NUMSA who are now fighting for the renewal of militant trade unionism and socialism in South Africa.

NUMSA was recently expelled in the Congress of South African Trade Unions federation through the maneouverings of its central executive committee. The central executive committee of COSATU supports the neoliberal program of the African National Congress government, while NUMSA does not. NUMSA has consistently opposed the neoliberal policies of the ANC government and stood for an independent trade union federation.

From the NUMSA press statement itself, we gathered that the real reason for NUMSA’s expulsion has been its consistent rejection of the ANC governmental policies which harm the interests of the workers and the South African masses.

NUMSA’s expulsion itself was reached through a narrow margin –- 33 for, and 24 against. It is therefore logical for NUMSA to still continue the fight within COSATU in order to gain more support from other unions. But whatever the outcome of NUMSA’s fight against the neoliberals within COSATU, we are squarely behind NUMSA and the principles that it is fighting for.

Our party in the Philippines, PLM, has also been engaged in a relentless struggle against the neoliberal policies and corrupt practices of the present government which is also supported by some sections of the Left. We understand that the glitter of bureaucratic and parliamentary posts, plum projects and display of power have tempted others to reject revolutionary principles and liquidate the revolutionary organisations that they have been part of.

We are very fortunate to meet the worker leaders and activists of NUMSA during the International Left Symposium in August 2014. The symposium was a step forward in developing the unity of the left in Africa and in different countries. Today, we reiterate our invitation to NUMSA to address the Asian Socialism Conference that we are hosting on November 28-29 in Manila this year, together with other socialist parties and movements in Southeast Asia, Nepal, Sweden and Australia.

We also reiterate our solidarity to NUMSA and we will assist in every possible way to support its fight to the finish. The Conference itself is designed to strengthen the unity of the working class in order to defeat the neoliberal policies and neoliberal regimes that are wreaking havoc on the lives and livelihood of the workers and masses everywhere.

Sonny Melencio
Chairperson, PLM