David Sipunzi will be remembered for his desire to champion workers’ struggles, says Nehawu
Johannesburg - The National Education, Health, and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has paid tribute to National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) general secretary David Kolekile Sipunzi, who died on Friday.
Nehawu had learnt with shock about the untimely death Sipunzi, the trade union said in a statement.
"The national union is deeply saddened by his death and conveys its deep and heartfelt condolences to his family, mine workers, comrades, and friends."
Sipunzi joined the NUM while working for Harmony where he became an NUM shaft steward and rose through the ranks of the NUM. At the NUM 15th national congress, he was elected as the general secretary and was reaffirmed by the 16th national congress until his death.
Sipunzi "also contributed immensely in the international workers and working class struggles and served as one of the vice presidents of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), the class-oriented world federation", Nehawu said.
"He dedicated his entire life in fighting against employers who undermine workers’ rights and in ensuring a safe working environment and aggressively fought against employers prioritising dividends over the health and safety of mineworkers.
“He will forever be remembered for his selflessness and constant desire to champion workers struggles. His efforts to liberate mineworkers from exploitative mine bosses should inspire the unity of all mine workers to continue to the struggle against slave wages.
"The struggle for decent salaries and safe working conditions has lost a fearless soldier. In this regard, we call on all workers to unite and wage a relentless war against exploitation and unsafe working conditions.
"Workers across all sectors are currently under threat from greedy employers who are only preoccupied by the accumulation of profits. Collective bargaining is currently under threat and necessitate a concerted effort by workers to defend their hard-won gains," Nehawu said.
African News Agency (ANA)