A response to NUMSA's plan for a new federation - COSATU

South African workers clever enough not to be fooled by this scheme

COSATU response to NUMSA on formation of a 'new independent, anti-imperialist Trade Union Federation'

14 September 2015

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted the statement by the former metal workers union affiliated to the Federation in which they have declared that ‘the time has arrived to start with the building blocks of forming a new independent, democratic, worker controlled, militant and anti-imperialist trade union federation’.

It is now clear that NUMSA leadership is non-existent and irrelevant to society without consistently attacking COSATU or any of the alliance formations. We are only responding to them as part of our revolutionary task to fight against misinformation campaign which is part of the counter revolutionary forces all over the world.

The so-called summit was a flop as reflected in the messages or tweet by the convenor Vavi. that any new federation based on anti-Cosatu would fail as others have tried before and they failed.

A formation of a true federation would take years and there would be principle upon which it has to be built. No one individual can singlehanded carry that task and at the same time declare to lead such a formation.

South African workers are clever enough to be fooled by a so-called new federation when the real intention is to hoodwink to the United Front.

COSATU also notes that NUMSA has appealed its expulsion in the coming ordinary 12th National Congress and such processes shall be considered and decided upon in pursuance of the aims and objectives of the founding of the Federation in terms of the Constitution.

And due process shall unfold on same!

COSATU wishes to put into perspective its regret on how NUMSA has continued to project the Federation in a bad light on various issues.

COSATU rejects the myth spread that we are ‘absolutely no fighting mass scale retrenchments’.

We are putting on record that the recent Special National Congress at Midrand in Gauteng in August articulated the importance to engaging all social partners on finding solutions to the envisaged retrenchments by captains of industries. The Special Central Executive Committee engaged on practical programmes which, amongst others, culminated in the adoption of a 10-Point Plan by the Mining Industry to delay retrenchments and lead other economic programmes to jerk up growth and sustain jobs.

COSATU participated in the meetings attended by steel industry role players to propose solutions to scale down steel imports which erodes local production.

COSATU remains confident that the Ten-Point Plan interventions shall be implemented to the latter to save jobs. COSATU through its affiliates are fighting job losses whether in the mining, steel, telecommunications, wholesale, retail, etc

NUMSA says ‘the State has succeeded in capturing and redirecting Cosatu and turning it into a mere instrument catch electoral votes of the workers and the poor every after 5 years’. COSATU is an independent workers Federation in terms of the Labour Relations Act in the Office of the Registrar’.

To suggest that COSATU is ‘captured’, is a myth.

COSATU has a sound Alliance with the ruling Party, the African National Congress [ANC], the South African Communist Party [SACP] and the South African National Civic Organizations [SANCO].

And each of these components are independent however, united towards attaining of the vision of the National Democratic Revolution [NDR].

And recently, we have emerged from a successful Alliance Summit held at Irene, Gauteng in which all Alliance partners committed to strengthening each other.

Erosion of Trade Union density is a global phenomenon as many unionized jobs are lost and non-unionized jobs are created as a result of privatization, retrenchment, outsourcing and also the impact of workers employed under labour brokers.

It is dialectically improper to dissect the already organized workers by calling for ‘a new independent, democratic, worker controlled, militant and anti-imperialist trade union federation’.

To pursue such a narrow and minimalist path by arguing that ‘Cosatu’s buried resolution of One Country-One Federation has not and shall not be realised in Cosatu’s current form and Alliance with ANC and SACP’, is disingenuous and far from logic’.

The logical point is that around 53,7% of workers according the Statistics South Africa recent reports illustrated that their wages are unilaterally determined by bosses.

And that is the fight COSATU is waging to defend the central collective bargaining under attack from organizations such the Free Market Foundation and unionize all vulnerable workers across all sectors of the economy.

NUMSA says ‘ relation to the Cosatu’s Special National Congress (SNC) held on 13-14 July 2015, it should be mentioned that it a was a farce and the Federation was rebranded and born anew as a blunt instrument in the pockets of politicians and factions within the ANC-led Alliance’.

COSATU’s recent Special National Congress was a huge success as it laid a sound and firm foundation to work towards cementing the unity and cohesion of the Workers’ Shield at all workplaces.

The Provincial Congresses have taken the message awesomely by building structures at Locals to building unity and cohesion with practical programmes to fight for bread and butter issues.

COSATU is preparing for its coming 12th National Congress in November, 23rd-26th, 2015 at Midrand and we will release the discussion documents for the attention of the public to shaping transformation in South Africa towards a second radical phase of transition and also advancing towards the economic liberation of the masses.

COSATU shall never be defocused on its defense of the founding principles.

Statement issued by Norman Mampane, COSATU Communications Officer, September 14 2015