Labour

Japan's Part-Time Workers Forced to Live in Internet Cafes

Picture: Media Storm Video Internet café refugees started appearing in Japan in the late 1990's. They are temporary workers who live in Intenet café cubicles because their salaries are too low to rent apartments. Japan's temporary workers earn less than half the income of full time employees; a disparity that leads directly to poverty. “Net Café Refugees” is a short film by Shiho Fukada. It forms part of a trilogy of films that examine Japan's highly stressful work environment. From...

Numsa's Irvin Jim: 'At the Centre of a Storm'

Picture: The Real News Network Video Irvin Jim, General Secretary of Numsa, recently toured the U.S. on a speaking tour where he was also interviewed by Paul Jay of the Real News Network. In Part One of an in-depth interview, Jim talks about his early life and how a difficult life as the son of farmworkers in the town of Port Alfred led him to activism as a young teenager. In this fascinating exchange, Jim offers insights into his radicalisation, which included leading the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) where he...

Are Workers Overpaid in South Africa?

Picture: Construction workers in South Africa courtesy Trevor Samson/World Bank/flickr Nicolas Pons-Vignon - Suggesting that workers, meaning those in low-level occupations, are overpaid, has become commonplace in South Africa. It is one facet of a broader line of argument, according to which, workers, especially black workers have been excessively well treated in the post-apartheid dispensation. The other facet of this argument is that this is not just a problem of attitude - one of entitlement justifying laziness, for instance - but also a cause of poverty, since overpaid workers keep others out...

A Real Socialist Party for South Africa?

Picture: Numsa Glen Ford - He strode to the microphone with a sash around his neck, a gap in his front teeth, and a socialist vision for South Africa’s future on his lips. “All over the world, the vast majority continue to languish in poverty,” because of a class of people that “do not produce value, but take for themselves the surplus value that the working class produces,” said Irvin Jim, the 45 year-old general secretary of his nation’s largest union, NUMSA, the National Union...

The Relationship between Labour and Civil Society in the Struggle for Social Justice

Picture: SACSIS Video The National Union of Metalworkers’ of South Africa (Numsa) is set to host a preparatory assembly for the launch of its United Front on 13 and 14 December 2014 in Johannesburg. Just over a fortnight ago, the United Front’s coordinator Dinga Sikwebu, talked about the aims and objectives of the front at an international seminar exploring the theme, “The Relationship between Labour and Civil Society in the Struggle for Social Justice”. Delegates from as far afield as...

Dinga Sikwebu on Numsa's Expulsion from Cosatu and Reasons for the Launch of the United Front

Picture: SACSIS Video On November, 22 at a panel discussion co-hosted by SACSIS and Norwegian People's Aid (NPA), Dinga Sikwebu, co-ordinator of Numsa's United Front talked to an international audience about the metalworkers' union expulsion from Cosatu, saying that the reason underpinning its expulsion was that Numsa took a decision that Cosatu should break its relationship with the ruling ANC because South Africa needed an independent trade union movement. Sikwebu argued, "the people at Cosatu expelled...