You are on page 1of 16

MARITIME & MINING GLOBAL INITIATIVE SEMINAR 5-6 OCTOBER 2011DURBAN ICC

Africa Regional Network Overview Presented by: Oupa Komane NUM Deputy General Secretary

CONTENTS OF THE PRESENTATION


Background of the Initiative

Purpose of the Initiative


Statement of Intent towards Southern African M&M (2008) Progress on strategy & Challenges Overview of Mining in Africa Political Economy of Africas Mineral Wealth Opportunity or curse What do we need to know in order to act The work done thus far Broader Challenges of the Initiative Way forward

BACKGROUND OF THE INITIATIVE


This Conference convenes after three of the same gatherings had taken place in the Northern developed countries; It is the first time it convenes in the African soil hosted by South African unions collaborating in this global initiative; NUM, SATAWU and CEPPWAWU From the first Seminar at Newcastle, Australia in 2002 which marked the start of this important yet unique Global Initiative in M&M value chain independent from GUFs Second Seminar held in Long Beach, Carlifonia from which a progressive declaration was adopted Third Seminar took place in Sydney, Australia in 2008 wherein as South African unions pronounced the desire to host same Conference; As we continued with the solidarity initiative, CEPPWAWU joined the network

Reports about struggles in Korea, Canada, Japan, Australia, India, South African etc. were presented and deliberated including the African Statement of Intent

PURPOSE OF THE INITIATIVE


The primary aim of the initiative is to secure workers rights in an increasingly downward variation of the conditions of employment induced by Globalization, by acting together in solidarity across the mineral resources production, supply and processing value chain This gathering for purpose of the initiative must be in a position to pronounce on these strategic questions and provide the impetus in moving forward Jointly campaign on global organizations and major players in the Mining and Maritime sectors like BHPB, Xstrata and Maersk We aiming to negotiate and Implement Global Agreements with the captains of industries on core labour rights in a way of combating exploitation of the multinational companies Building the knowledge base on comparative wages conditions and developing common minimum components to the agreements and Forming global union networks within major companies such as those formed in Rio Tinto Campaign and Maersk Network

STATEMENT OF INTENT TOWARDS SOUTHERN AFRICAN M&M 2008


In 2008 in Sydney, Australia South African unions made the following twelve points committment as a strategic framework on which the African M&M solidarity initiative will be based;

1. The Southern African Region is one of the richest deposits and the largest exporter of a variety of minerals in the world (gas, oil, coal, gold, platinum, copper, uranium diamonds, nickel etc.) 2. It comprises Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi; 3. It has several transnational railroads linking major ports in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans such as Dar Es Salaam, Maputo, Richards Bay, East London, Cape Town, Walvis Bay and Luanda; 4. The ports are the main entry of imports from across the globe into the region and on the continent 5. Countries in the region are members of the Southern African Community (SADC)

STATEMENT OF INTENT TOWARDS SOUTHERN AFRICAN M&M INITIATIVE (2008) CONT


6. Regional structures of ITF and the ICEM have affiliates in most countries and are active particularly in terms of education and organizing initiatives and solidarity; 7. Since the inception of the mining and maritime initiative both NUM and SATAWU have been involved; 8. Both unions are active affiliates of their respective Global Unions 9. The Presidents of the ITF by then and ICEM are from SATAWU and NUM respectively; 10. Both unions are keen to initiate a regional strategic discussion on how to build regional solidarity between the mining and transport sectors and to involve the respective regional committees in initiating these discussions including approaching the BWI and IMF regional offices as part of this process; 11. Both unions undertake to place their human resources and research capacity in examining the feasibility of such a regional initiative and what the opportunities and threats are in developing a practical regional solidarity strategy and appropriate co-ordinating mechanism;

12. To kick start the process both unions undertake to distribute the popular education materials within the regional structures and to all affiliates;

PROGRESS ON STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK


South African unions NUM and SATAWU convened the first meeting wherein strategic implementation plan based on the statement of intent was discussed Subsequent meeting attempted to define a concrete step forward by identifying the following unions in SA and other relevant neibouring countries and three regional structures of GUFs as strategic partners; CEPPWAWU, NUMSA as well as ICEM, ITF and IMF were invited The response of the GUFs were positive except ITF and later all GUFs disappeared In the process NUMSA decided to pullout on the basis that they dont see their relevance in the Initiative Through the assistance of comrade Gino from Ditsela by then, the educational material was developed sponsored by CFMEU Due to busy schedules in 2009 focusing on SA general elections, meetings no longer materialized As a result we lost focus on the commitment we made to build ARC structure

OVERVIEW OF MINING IN AFRICA


Africa produces more than 60% of metal and mineral products

Major producer of worlds most important minerals gold, PGMs, diamonds, cobalt, uranium, manganese, bauxite
Hold about 30% of the planets mineral reserves making it as strategic continent SA, DRC, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia dominate the industry Angola, Botswana, Sierra Leone, Namibia and Zambia are heavily dependent on mining Mozambique, Nigeria and Madagascar are potential key players in the industry Increased investments in exploration of mineral resources BUT more than 90% of Africas natural resources are exported for secondary processing

Therefore the resource extraction is not used sustainably for the benefit of local communities and future generations

THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF AFRICAS MINERAL WEALTH OPPORTUNITY OR CURSE?


Commodities boom leading to demand for mining and aggregate processing technology, and transport infrastructure development and secondary industries Several regional economic blocs are currently working on legal, industrial and trade strategies to promote processing, beneficiation, and the export of diversified, value-added goods within the continent and beyond. Major wave of new BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China & SA) companies added with junior miners from Canada, Australia Need to ponder on whether is this curse of a new wave of neo-colonalism to perpetuate under development or An opportunity to create decent work, reduce extreme income inequality, poverty, conflict and promote a better quality of life for workers and communities.

Workers, communities and civil society organisations are central to altering the course of history and drive socio-economic development

WHAT DO WE NEED TO KNOW IN ORDER TO ACT?


The various stages of the value chain locating deposits, establishing a mine plan, development of infrastructure, production, distribution and consumption of the product in different forms and ultimate mine closure; Who buys what we produce? What happens to what we produce? Under what conditions for workers and communities ? What is the state of organisations what are balance of forces and power relations? What are political and election manifestos of major political parties e.g. in the recent presidential elections in Zambia, the winner Micheal Sata campaigned on implementation of rights under labour law to deal with foreign companies What governance rules are enforced taxes, royalties, institutions, transparency, care for people and the environment

THE WORK THUS FAR


There have been several attempts by unions to building continental cooperation

In 2009 unions from 12 countries came together in Zambia to discuss foreign direct investment (FDI) from western and eastern MNCs
In 2010 unions from 13 countries came together to initiate amongst other work a project on building cooperation and trade union organising in West Africa including a safety campaign led by the Ghana Mine Workers Union

The need for a co-operative research project the state of union organisation, collective bargaining agreements, legislation governing MNCs, pan-African labour standards and organising and campaigns were discussed and agreed;
In the ICEM the Regional Committee has adopted and implementing several important decisions on campaigns and organisation building Zimbabwe weapon consignment from China by SATAWU

THE WORK THUS FAR CONTINUED AFRICAN/GLOBAL SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGNS


Solidarity campaign with Mexican workers, during world cup to protest arrest and detention of trade unionists Cross border solidarity campaigns with workers and people of Swaziland and Zimbabwe Solidarity action with SAPPI workers of Swaziland Participated in marches in Boron USA Support for the USW / Vale dispute Support for the NUM / BHP Billiton dispute at Hotazel Manganese mine Support for a joint organising campaign in a Chinese-owned mine in Zambia Message of Solidarity for the Chilean Mine Workers trapped underground for 69 days at the San Jose mine

Support for citizens struggling for freedom and democracy in their countries

BROADER CHALLENGES OF THE INITIATIVE


In Africa, the political conditions are challenging- undemocratic regimes

Many African unions lack resources


Poor coordination due to capacity Globally, the initiative seems to be narrowed to mainly mining unions Other unions in different sectors feel marginalised.

BROADER CHALLENGES OF THE INITIATIVE-CONT


Lack of clear understanding of what the initiative is doing

Different cultures and traditions of doing things within the trade union movement
No clear programme of action for all to follow Inconsistency in carrying out work by member unions Different strengths of unions

WAY FORWARD
Support unions still fighting political battles in their countries

Link the initiative with other GUFs work and ensure consistent collaboration
Develop strong regional networks in South, East, West and Central Africa Draw more unions in various sectors to join the initiative Adopt global campaigns in a number of sectors that feed into M&M value chain

WAY FORWARD-CONTINUED
Be vocal on issues of human and trade union rights in order to build a global profile in order to be able to start campaigns Structured meetings and discussion forums such as ARC Proper and effective communications network is very important