UAW TO CONDUCT A SERIES OF 48-HOUR FASTS IN SUPPORT OF BLACK SOUTH AFRICAN DETAINEES
by United Automobile Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America
Detroit, Michigan, United States
February 17, 1989
United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America
UAW President Owen Bieber announces that union members will conduct a series of 48-hour fasts to support black South African detainees being held without charge. The press release says the union communicated with attorneys for several hundred South African detainees and supported a decision to suspend their hunger strikes because a number of them were in extreme physical danger after not eating for 24 days or more. The press release says the UAW President went to South Africa in August, 1986 and interviewed a number of trade union detainees who were imprisoned after the government declared a state of emergency in June. Last week Bieber dispatched Don Stillman, UAW Director of Governmental and International Affairs, to South Africa to observe the trial of Moses Mayekiso, general secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), UAW's counterpart union in South Africa. Mayekiso is a former detainee who later was charged with treason. Yale University President Benno Schmidt, Jr. also attended the trial. Bieber serves as co-chair of the National Labor Boycott Shell Committee, which seeks the withdrawal of Royal Dutch/Shell from South Africa for its anti-union conduct and its role in fueling the South African military and defense forces. The press release says in 1986-87, Bieber served as a member of the U.S. Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on South Africa and filed a strong dissent from the Committee's final report in which he urged tougher sanctions against South Africa. The press release discusses Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Minister Law and Order Adriaan Vlok, the Southern African Catholic: Bishops' Conference, Diepkloof Prison, Tono Timothy Mabena, Graca T. Malunga, Paul Masako, Bushy Molefe, Joseph Motelele, Andrew Mzobe, Nkosenye Ndlovu, Amos Mathonsi, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), Modderbee Prison, and apartheid's jails.
Collection: Private collection of David Wiley and Christine Root