Agenda stands in way of Numsa meeting with Cosatu

2014-01-23 17:50

Numsa will meet Cosatu to discuss resolutions taken at its national congress only if the trade union federation sent it an agenda, says a union official.

“We have indicated to them a date we are willing to meet as long as they furnish us with an agenda,” said spokesperson Castro Ngobese.

“If [there is] no agenda, we won’t be in a position to meet,” he added.

Ngobese denied reports that the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) would meet the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) tomorrow.

He said Numsa had informed Cosatu it could not meet because it had several activities planned.

The union is holding a national shop stewards’ council tomorrow and then having a national political school to discuss implementing decisions taken at its congress last year.

Last month, the metal workers’ union, which is Cosatu’s biggest affiliate, held a special national congress where it discussed its future in Cosatu and if it should support the ANC in this year’s elections.

It was decided not to support the ANC, which is in an alliance with Cosatu. The union called for President Jacob Zuma to resign following the controversy about security upgrades to his private home at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal.

Read: Numsa calls on Cosatu to leave alliance, will lead founding of United Front

Last week, Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini said the federation had written to Numsa asking for a meeting to discuss the resolutions.

“We must have that meeting so we can clear up a number of issues. That meeting is very, very critical,” he said at the time.

Numsa has been at loggerheads with Cosatu since general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi’s suspension for having an affair with a junior employee.

Cosatu leaders reportedly did not want Numsa to leave the federation on “its own terms”.

Business Day reported last week that Numsa might try to lessen the fallout of its decisions by saying it would delay their implementation, an approach that is certain to be rejected.

Cosatu reportedly wanted a complete retraction of the decisions despite their adoption at a special national congress.

Today, Ngobese said the national congress was the highest decision-making body in Numsa and that no one could reverse decisions taken there.

“Cosatu does not have the powers to reverse decisions taken at conferences of its affiliates, but affiliates can use those resolutions to influence Cosatu,” he said.

“Cosatu receives its mandate from [affiliates], not the other way round.”

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