Cosatu buries the hatchet – for now

2014-04-09 15:23

The leadership of Cosatu is to celebrate this year’s Workers’ Day without having resolved the tensions that threaten to split the labour federation down the middle.

The labour federation’s central executive committee – which met to deal with the matter of Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi’s overturned suspension and to discuss whether to expel or suspend metalworkers’ union Numsa – was postponed yesterday after a request from the ANC leadership.

The meeting was also due to discuss the position of Cosatu deputy president Zingiswa Losi, who had left Numsa to join police union Popcru. However, she did not resign from her Cosatu leadership position as she was expected to.

ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, who leads an ANC task team that is attempting to broker peace in Cosatu, called for a “ceasefire” while the protagonists in the factional battle tried to reach an agreement to maintain unity.

In a statement, Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said this would not affect the union’s campaign and activities, including May Day, “although it could affect what is said at the rallies”.

Craven said Ramaphosa had already met many leaders of Cosatu and its affiliates to facilitate peace.

The CEC meeting was postponed after it had agreed to Ramaphosa’s request.

“The meeting agreed, however, that all affiliates, provincial structures and individual comrades must fully comply with the principles underlying the process and cease making statements that contradict each other, desist from any ill-disciplined activities or events and refrain from making comments, which are divisive or disruptive and could worsen the current problems facing the federation,” he said.

Craven said Losi would keep her position until the CEC received a report on the matter.

Cosatu’s constitution says a person ceases to be a national office-bearer when he or she stops being a member of an affiliate, but is silent about what happens when they join another affiliate.

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