Events are clearly conspiring against Cosatu with the formation of splinter unions.
Cosatu is perceived by former members to be much involved in national politics and paying scant respect to mineworkers’ wants and interests.
NUM the affiliate of Cosatu is overtaken by events in Marikina where the leadership of NUM could only address the grumbling mineworkers inside an armored police car.
On the other hand the rival labour union, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCO) has taken the bat on behalf of mineworkers strongly supporting them on their demand for R12 500 per month.
Executive members of NUM earn large amount and are regarded as fat cats that are no longer speaking the same language as mineworkers.
For instance the general secretary of Num Frans Baleni is reported to be earning R1,4 million per annum.
Whilst his members are getting R36 000 for similar period, a massive salary gap in anyone’s’ book.
No wonder mineworkers who once regarded Cosatu as a champion of workers are turning their backs in material numbers in favor of splinter unions.
Disaffection with Cosatu is replicated in transport sector in that we have SA National Transport Allied Workers breaking away from SA Transport and Allied Workers; the latter is a Cosatu affiliated union.
It is too early to tell whether other sectors will breakaway from Cosatu thus emasculating the once powerful federation.
In their next month national conference Cosatu should decided whether it should continue their involvement with national politics or become a political party themselves.
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