A handy worker’s guide to the Cosatu congress

2012-09-15 15:35

Everyone going to labour federation Cosatu’s congress next week should make it their business to come prepared.

It’s easy with this handy guide:

» Wear red. Most delegates are from the comfortable middle classes these days, but everyone’s still a “worker”.

» Be nice to ANC delegates. You might not like them, or even think they’re corrupt, but remember that the alliance with the governing party is your ticket to a better job.

» Bring ear plugs to block out undesirables.

Cosatu has a foot in each ANC camp, so President Jacob Zuma and his sidekick, SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande, will be speaking, but you can bet anti-Zuma loudmouths like Numsa’s Irvin Jim will also get airtime.

So never mind which camp you’re in, you’ll find at least half of the speeches intolerable.

» Although you might not be using it, don’t forget to wear a watch. Better still, bring a stopwatch.

Some items on the programme only have about 10 minutes allocated to them and you don’t want to miss out.

» Bring snacks. When the programme says lunch is at 1pm, it doesn’t always mean it.

» You will know the long version of Nkosi Sikilel’iAfrika from ANC meetings, but remember this is a workers’ congress so please brush up on The Internationale and Solidarity Forever.

Pretending you’re chewing gum instead of singing just doesn’t cut it.

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