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Why we should all support SAMWU

May 29, 2004

The ragged band of dustbin men that comprise the municipal workers’ union, SAMWU, are usually portrayed in the media as being undisciplined vandals, hooligans who foul our cities with their unreasonable demands.

In SAMWU’s nationwide strike last year, SAMWU members overturned rubbish bins and strewed the contents around the city streets. The message was clear: “show us some respect – look how you’d be living without us”.

Workers who provide the essential service of keeping cities liveable, of keeping our suburbs clean, are invisible, and should stay that way – at least that is the view of most of the media, which deeply resents any attempt by this ragged army of cleaners to make it’s voice heard – “shall we be dictated to by dustbin men?” cry the middle classes.

To which I answer “rather dustbin men than politicians”.

We should all be standing firmly behind SAMWU now. They are our greatest advocates. SAMWU is on the front line defending our resources.

Water is a fundamental human need, and a fundamental human right. For billions of years, no one even considered restricting access to water – it would have been impossible, anyway, as God gave it freely.

But with the death of God, many things have become possible.

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