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Congress is Coming!



It’s time for National Congress again! Our Union’s Congress is held once every 3 years. It will take place on 23 – 25 September this year. About 700 delegates, guests and union staff will gather for this important event. Congress is the highest decision making body of the union and will review the work of the organisation, decide on our main programmes for the next few years. It will also elect the union’s new National Office Bearers, who will serve until the next elections in 3 years time. This is part of democracy in our organisation enshrined in our constitution. It follows on the shop stewards elections held in more than 800 work places earlier this year and branch and regional elections, held there after. The Congress theme is “A new growth path for decent work in the clothing, textiles, footwear and leather industry.”

After the Congress, our members will receive report backs on the main decisions taken at this important meeting. The main issues to be discussed include the following:

  • How to save jobs
  • How to grow the industry
  • What has happened in our wage negotiations and our new collective bargaining strategy
  • How to improve union benefits
  • What can we do to give a better service to members
  • How to fight HIV/AIDS
  • COSATU developments
  • International affairs
  • How to strengthen the struggles of woman workers
  • Political developments and
  • Our program of action for the next few years

The last Congress we held in 2007, in Durban, under theme “Modernise, Innovate, create decent jobs”.  This years Congress will be addressed by Zwelinzima Vavi (COSATU General Secretary), Ebrahim Patel (Minister of Economic and development), Rob Davice (Minister of Trade & Industry), and Issa Aremu (General Secretary of the National Union of Textile, Garment & Tailoring Workers of Nigeria).

Congress is also expected to view video message of solidarity from the General Secretary of the International Textile, Garment & Leather Workers Federation (ITGLWF) and from the leadership of our Belgium sister union, the ABVV (Clothing & Diamonds section).

On Friday evening, 24th September, the union will host its Congress Awards gala dinner, where branches, shop stewards and staff who have made a significant contribution to the organisation over the last three years, will be honoured. On Thursday morning (23 September 2010), Congress will pay tribute to our late 1st Deputy President, Violet Siboni, who was tragically killed in a car accident on 3 April last year, while on COSATU Duties. She was also the COSATU Deputy President at the time.

On 24 September, a session of Congress will be dedicated to a focus on Heritage Day proceedings. Selected session of the Congress will be opened to the media, and press alerts will be sent out in their regard.