The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) is the biggest single trade union in South Africa with more than 350,000 members. NUMSA is shaking up the political landscape in South Africa. In July 2014 NUMSA organized a general strike which shutdown manufacturing throughout the country. In December, NUMSA launched a “United Front” to build political power by asserting the rights of workers and marginalized communities. The General Secretary of NUMSA, Irvin Jim, will be in the United States on a personal visit and has carved out time to meet allies in the labor movement, anti-apartheid stalwarts, African diaspora, and communities of color fighting oppression on multiple fronts.
On November 8, 2014 the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) expelled NUMSA, its largest affiliate.
Please join us for a special event with Irvin Jim, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa General Secretary, on a U.S tour speaking about NUMSA and the exciting new developments with the Preparatory Assembly of the United Front in South Africa.
Actor, activist, and filmmaker Danny Glover will join Irvin for this event. And Grammy-nominated musician Carolyn Malachi will also perform. Light fare will be for provided.
In 1991, on only his second day at work, Irvin Jim’s fellow workers at Firestone Tyres nominated him as their union representative. Irvin laughs as he recounts the shock of company management when a general meeting was called to elect the young rubber worker. Only at age 23, Irvin turned down the nomination that day but within three months had taken on the role of shop steward, and was well on the path to becoming one of South Africa’s most senior trade unionists. In October 2008, at a NUMSA Congress Irvin was elected General Secretary of NUMSA.
Co-sponsored by the Institute for Policy Studies, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, and Busboys and Poets.