Numsa’s 10-step plan to save Cosatu

2013-12-20 13:45

Metalworkers’ union Numsa has resolved that its labour federation Cosatu is “currently in a complete state of paralysis and about to implode if no serious measures are undertaken to save it, unify it, rebuild it and reclaim it from forces who want to destroy or liquidate it”.

It blames the South African Communist Party for interfering in Cosatu’s business and turning it into a “conveyor belt” to help government pass policies that aren’t friendly to workers.

Far from breaking away from the labour federation as it previously threatened, this is how Numsa intends to save Cosatu:

1. Establish unity in Cosatu, and make sure to fight for it and prevent splinters from Cosatu.

2. Force Cosatu leaders to be accountable and implement resolutions from last year’s conference and the March 2013 collective bargaining conference.

3. Numsa shopstewards must continue to be visible and active in all Cosatu structures and leadership positions to spread its ideological message better.

4. Force Cosatu to call a special congress. If Cosatu fails to appoint a convenor as its constitution requires, Numsa will look at other ways, including court action, to force it to call the congress.

5. Make sure to understand the crisis in Cosatu better by looking at the evolution and historical development of the federation.

6. Withhold subscriptions to Cosatu until it convenes a special national congress.

7. March to Cosatu House to force leadership to convene a special congress and withdraw charges against suspended general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. This should coincide with the first meeting of Cosatu’s central executive committee in February.

8. Circulate pamphlets to the “rank and file” across affiliates on the crisis facing Cosatu.

9. Involve the “broader mass democratic movement” and tell them about Cosatu’s challenges.

10. Give Numsa’s central committee a mandate to “assess and to make strategic decisions from time to time towards Cosatu’s next national congress in 2015” (this includes the power to take a decision to withdraw from the federation).

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