Cosatu losing contact with its roots, says analyst

2010-02-10 13:31

Labour federation Cosatu does not seem too keen to learn from the

hard lessons of union movements in other parts of the work, an analyst said in a

report published today.

Writing in the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation’s yearly

transformation review Professor Sakhela Buhlungu said Cosatu’s political power

and influence would be the envy of union federations in other developing

countries.

However, organisational weaknesses were becoming increasingly

apparent in the federation.

Its future was being fiercely contested by those who prioritised

political influence, and those who gave primacy to building organisational

power.

Buhlungu, who is a professor of sociology at the University of

Johannesburg, said the post 1994-democratic environment had helped Cosatu extend

its political influence.

But this had often meant resources were diverted from building the

organisational capacities of unions.

“Union movements in the rest of the world have learnt the hard way

that political influence is impossible to sustain in the absence of

organisational power,” he said.

“Sadly, Cosatu does not seem to keen to learn from the experiences

of union movements in other parts of the world.”

He said key union leaders had become alienated from members, and

had begun to think and act like the business people, politicians and bureaucrats

they were trying to displace.

They spent longer hours in meetings with bosses and bureaucrats

than they did with blue-collar members of their unions.

During social occasions at such events, the conversation was

seldom, if at all, about building a workers’ paradise.

Instead, it was often about the latest trends in consumption –

“cars, houses, food and expensive drinks, playing golf, and free tickets to

watch sports matches from corporate suites at sports stadiums”.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.