New trade union federation could be launched soon – Zwelinzima Vavi

Former COSATU GS says 40 trade unions expected to meet at national summit on 30 April

New trade union federation could be launched within months - Vavi

Johannesburg - The Workers Summit, a breakaway from the Congress of SA Trade Unions, is hoping to launch a new trade union federation in the next three to four months, its steering committee said on Tuesday.

Around 3 000 delegates, representing more than 40 trade unions, were expecting to meet on April 30 for a national summit to discuss this, committee convener Zwelinzima Vavi told reporters in Johannesburg.

"We hope that the workers’ summit will adopt a resolution to launch a new federation in the next three to four months and declare that all the unions present forthwith constitute a new, independent, militant and campaigning federation and elect an interim leadership.

"Work will begin on the new principles, constitution, the logo, colours, etc, if the majority decides to pass the resolution calling for the establishment of the new federation. "The formation of a new trade union federation was proposed after the National Union of Metalworkers of SA was expelled from Cosatu in November 2014. It was expelled for deciding not to support the ANC in the general elections that year, which was against Cosatu’s constitution.

Vavi, who was Cosatu’s general secretary, was expelled in March 2015. Vavi said they were under no illusions, and that starting a new federation would need their full attention in the next few years. "It must be remembered that it took four long years to establish Cosatu, and therefore we are beginning to put in place the building blocks of a trade union federation. "

This article first appeared on News24 – see here