Cosatu congress comes to a close

By Drum Digital
20 September 2012

The Congress of SA Trade Unions' 11th national congress closes in Midrand on Thursday, with the announcement of its new national office bearers.

Cosatu's leaders were nominated unopposed on Monday, resulting in Zwelinzima Vavi keeping his position as general secretary, Bheki Ntshalintshali remaining his deputy, and Sidumo Dlamini staying on as president.

First deputy president Tyotyo James and second deputy president Zingiswa Losi would also retain their positions.

Freda Oosthuizen was the only candidate nominated for the position of treasurer.

The official announcement of the leaders would be made by the Independent Electoral Commission later on Thursday.

On Thursday morning a group of delegates gathered around Vavi to pose with him for photographs.

In the course of the congress, delegates have debated Cosatu's political, organisational and socio-economic reports.

A debate on the national minimum wage was put on hold on Wednesday.

Delegates debated whether there should be a national minimum wage or sectoral minimum wages.

National Education and Health Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) general secretary Fikile Majola said his union supported a national minimum wage.

"This will move lower paid workers up.... That is part of closing the inequalities," he told delegates.

Vavi said a collective bargaining conference would be held next year to finalise the matter.

However, he said that in June last year a similar conference was held with no outcome.

"... Unions didn't take us seriously. They preferred to go to political issues than deal with this issue," Vavi said.

"We can't pretend there has been no discussion."

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