Veteran trade unionist, South African Typographical Union (SATU) General Secretary and former Federation of South African Trade Unions (FEDUSA) Deputy President Martin Deysel has passed on. Deysel, who was also a founding member of FEDUSA succumbed to long illness at the Groenkloof Life Hospital in Pretoria on Friday 7 July 2017. He was 76 years old. He is survived by his wife Hettie, two daughters Marinda and Sonja and granddaughters Kaylee and Ashlee.
Deysel became a full time SATU official in 1971 when he also started his apprenticeship as a letter-setter at the Daily Representatives newspaper in Queenstown. He was the youngest General Secretary to be elected to the oldest trade union in South Africa, SATU. Deysel faithfully served the printing trade union for more than 31 years.
Deysel played a major role in the establishment of a Statutory Council for the printing, newspaper and packaging industries. He hoped that the statutory council would lead to centralised bargaining and better benefits for printing, newspaper and packaging workers. Even though the three major employers at the time, Nampak, Kohler and Mondi Pak were in favour of centralised bargaining on wages and other conditions of service, other employers strongly opposed the move. However Deysel managed to established collective bargaining forums in the sector later to advance collective bargaining.
In 1994, Deysel took a firm stance that ballot papers for South Africa’s first democratic elections should be printed locally. It was agreed that China would print the first batch and the rest would be printed in South Africa. SATU always fought with the apartheid government and the trade union was declared a non-racial trade union.
The emergence of digital and internet technologies in recent years has brought about new printing trends that will forever change the printing industry. Deysel realised that the printing industry trends have changed the way companies do business from the design to the printing phase of operations. He used the MAPPP-SETA to ensure that workers in the media, advertising, publishing, printing and packaging sector were retrained and skilled to fulfil the ever changing technological demands of the printing and packaging industries.
The Funeral Service:
Date: Friday, 14th July 2017
Venue: NGK Montana
300 Veronica Road