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South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union

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SATAWU Constitution

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About Us  >>  Affiliates

Satawu is affiliated to Union Network International (UNI) and International Transport Workers` Federation (ITF)


The former SATAWU General Secretary Randall Howard, was elected President of ITF in 2006



Our international work is generally informed by our international policy and Resolutions of National Congresses since the founding of the union. In pursuit of our broad international objectives emphasis will, of necessity, vary from time to time depending on the dictates of class struggle internationally and nationally. There is no doubt that Cuba, Palestine, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Western Sahara, Burma-Myanmar, Congress of South African Trade Unions, International Transport Workers’ Federation and Union Network International work, Mining and Maritime Initiative campaigns, SATAWU-NATAU-STAWU Capacity-building Project and the campaign for workers’ rights in Iran, including fighting for the release of the leaders of a bus drivers union in that country, will preoccupy most of our efforts for the forseeable future.


However, against the backdrop of the recent assault on Gaza by Zionist Israel SATAWU is now prioritising solidarity work with the people of Palestine. This is actually a COSATU Campaign. To this extent, SATAWU will strive for maximum collaboration with COSATU-affiliates in waging this campaign. At the same time, the past few weeks have imposed a particular obligation on SATAWU, especially its maritime members in Durban, Kwa-Zulu-Natal. This seems set to continue for a couple of weeks if not months.


Presently, Israeli ships are constantly visiting our shores. A few weeks ago, SATAWU members refused to off-load an Israeli ship when it docked at the Port of Durban. This was a very brave and exemplary internationalist act in solidarity with the beleaguered masses of Palestine by our members. It was in the same vein as their conduct in relation to the Chinese ship carrying arms and ammunition destined to Zimbabwe last year. While embarking on these dramatic solidarity acts, SATAWU will not lose sight of the fact the current COSATU-led solidarity campaign on Palestine will really become effective when broadened beyond the SATAWU maritime shock-troops to encompass the broad sections of the working .class of our country. The immediate task is to develop and deepen working relations between COSATU-affiliates and the rest of the Palestinian Solidarity Movement (PSM). Indeed, a new, all-encompassing, PSM must be built out of various forms of collaboration among different formations carrying out practical work on the Palestinian solidarity front!


In this regard SATAWU will focus on Kwa-Zulu-Natal, the Western Cape and Gauteng for the mere fact that in these Provinces there are relatively active structures of the PSM side-by-side with various efforts seized with the same question. If our solidarity work on Swaziland, Cuba and Zimbabwe is anything to go by, at least, from a SATAWU point-of-view, no serious campaign, national or international, can be sustained without strong structures dedicated to its implementation, albeit within the general ambit of the union’ s day-to-day work. A certain amount of resources will have to be dedicated towards the success of this work.


Without in any way deviating from this total commitment, some systematic work on Zimbabwe and Swaziland will still be done. It is necessary to re-think the form of future solidarity work on Zimbabwe in the context of political changes currently underway in that country. Close engagement with our counterparts in Zimbabwe will assist us arrive at a correct appraisal of these developments on which to base our new efforts. As far as Swaziland is concerned, a ‘business as usual’ approach will not be that dangerous. Only that our past shortcomings must be urgently corrected! Naturally, the dawn of democracy in Zimbabwe will definitely lead to a greater focus of our energies on Swaziland while continuing to assist our comrades in Zimbabwe to consolidate their position in the ‘new’ situation



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