'Workers suffering under ANC, Cosatu' – union member

2016-05-01 13:40

Johannesburg – Independent union members began arriving in large numbers to celebrate Workers' Day at the Mehlareng Stadium in Tembisa on Sunday.

Several said they would not let the gloomy weather deter them from celebrating May Day.

At least 2 000 people had arrived for the celebrations and thousands more were expected to be bused in later.

National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) leader, Irvin Jim, and former Cosatu general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, were expected to speak.

Numsa was expelled from the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) in November 2014 following its decision not to support the ANC in elections that year, which went against the union federation’s constitution. Vavi was expelled from Cosatu in March 2015 and has since been involved in forming a new union federation to rival Cosatu.

'Run Sdumo run'

President Jacob Zuma was expected to address a separate Cosatu May Day rally in Tshwane later on Sunday. 

SA Correctional Services Workers’ Union (Sacoswu) member, Lindiwe Sonto, said she came to the rally on the East Rand to support her leaders.

"We have a new federation that will wipe out Cosatu. We have to support our leaders and we also have to celebrate this important day for workers.

"Workers are suffering under the ANC and Cosatu. Workers need to stand up and fight," she said.

Union members donned red Numsa T-shirts while some wore yellow T-shirts.

Workers chanted, "Run Sdumo run”, referring to current Cosatu leader, Sdumo Dlamini.

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