Nzimande: Workers still being attacked

2015-05-01 17:43
People attend a May Day rally in Durban. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

People attend a May Day rally in Durban. (Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Durban - Workers are still being attacked, SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande said at a May Day rally by Cosatu in Durban on Friday.

"At home we are still battling with unemployment and hunger. It's important for Cosatu to [face] these problems head on," he told the crowd.

In what could be seen as an attack on the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), he said some people wanted to establish a worker's party. He accused them of trying to destroy the trade union federation.

"The SACP today is calling for all communists to build Limusa [Liberated Metalworkers Union of South Africa] as a new federation. We are calling for all members in Numsa not to be misled by Numsa [leaders]."

Limusa is the new metalworkers' union to join Cosatu since Numsa was expelled in November last year.

Numsa was holding its own May Day event, also in Durban. Led by the union's general secretary Irvin Jim and expelled Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, it was being held at Dinuzulu Park, with a march to City Hall.

‘White monopoly our enemy’

Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini welcomed Limusa to Cosatu.

"Should Numsa change its mind and rejoin the federation, we will talk about that when the time comes," he said.

"When Cosatu was launched here 30 years ago here in Durban, we said Cosatu will never be defeated.

"Our real enemy is white monopoly. That is why we practice discipline even though there were distractions. We declare that Cosatu is here to stay," Dlamini said.

He thanked the masses for defending Cosatu.

"There were people that were working inside of the country and outside the country. They tried to change Cosatu into something else, but you stood firm to make it what it is today.

"Today is about the workers who brave the early mornings and dangerous evenings with only one thing in mind, to feed their families."

Left in the dark

Dlamini made special mention of a group of retrenched Dunlop workers, who were at the rally with placards asking Cosatu to help them. Dlamini approached them and said he would address their issues after the rally.

"They are looking to Cosatu today because they were left by their former unions, left them in the dark, that's why they are here. To our government, let us do something about Dunlop."

He said he knew people had written Cosatu off, but the May Day rally was a success.

"We are condemning others who wanted to make the world believe that they are better than Cosatu.

"We are not going to pay attention to them. They have been busy for the past three years, but we have told them that we cannot work with people that don't want to work with us," he said in a veiled attack on Vavi and Numsa.

"We are doing everything in our power to protect this federation. Those that want to leave the federation must leave. Those that want to turn Cosatu into a political party must go.

"We have the ANC. We don't want another one. We thank you for not agreeing to participate in these mischievous ways to create divisions in the federation."

Dlamini said Cosatu had beaten the Numsa.

"It's all lies that we are in Cosatu for positions. That is not why we are in the union. Those that are making so much noise about the union are the ones that went to Nkandla to talk to Nxamalala [President Jacob Zuma's clan name].

"Why did those people leave Cosatu? They left because they could not get Cosatu to be a step ladder to getting positions into government."

Read more on:    numsa  |  sidumo dlamini  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  labour

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