Cosatu mulls over special congress

2014-01-15 14:18

Union federation Cosatu says the leaders of its affiliates have met to discuss plans for its special national congress, and says its leadership is awaiting a report on the matter.

Metal workers’ union Numsa and some unions have called for the congress in a bid to save the federation’s embattled general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, who has since been charged by Cosatu.

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini would not say what charges Vavi faces, saying they only confirmed the charges because Vavi’s spokesperson had gone public on the matter. Dlamini would not say whether the Cosatu employee who was suspended along with Vavi after they had sex at work faces any disciplinary charges.

The federation has also asked for a meeting with Numsa, which has resolved not to campaign for the ANC in the upcoming general election.

Dlamini said Numsa’s decision will make things difficult for Cosatu, which has vowed to push for an ANC victory despite some disagreements on aspects of the National Development Plan.

Acting Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said the federation was convinced that the ANC election manifesto, which President Jacob Zuma launched on Saturday, was “capable of improving the lives of workers and the poor”.

“This election manifesto is a true reflection of the aspirations of millions of South Africans who choose to be part of the solution by renewing the mandate of the ANC,” he said.

Some of the proposals Cosatu welcomed include:

» Buying 75% of all goods locally;

» Strengthening the Employment Equity Act to require employers to report unequal wage levels and reduce inequalities; and

» Eliminating abusive work practices.

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