About the Casual Workers' Advice Office
The Casual Workers Advice Office (CWAO) was founded in 2011 as a non-profit, independent organisation. It provides advice and support to workers, privileging casual, contract, labour broker and other precarious workers. The organisation was formed out of the recognition that the traditional labour movement appears incapable or unwilling to organize the new kinds of workers created by neo-liberalism. This recognition also informs the emphasis the CWAO places on precarious workers beginning to organize themselves. The old industrial model of organizing seems unsuitable for precarious workers. Indeed, it seems no longer suitable for traditional industrial workers themselves. The new organizational forms that will take its place will be determined by workers through struggle. It is through organisation that precarious workers will best defend their rights, improve upon those rights, and connect with broader struggles for social justice and an egalitarian society
The Work of the CWAO
The CWAO undertakes:
- Advice and support to workers, individually or in groups
- Mass education, mainly through community radio, and
- Support to other advice offices, through the production of essential resources for worker advice.
The organisation networks with other advice offices and support organisations, institutions such as the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation & Arbitration (CMMA), the Department of Labour (at national, provincial and local level) and Legal Aid South Africa.
The CWAO envisages involvement in campaigns and advocacy, in alliance with other advice offices and social justice organisations.
Through these activities the CWAO hopes to encourage and support the emergence of organisation among precarious workers.