Signs of a serious rift as Numsa snubs Cosatu march

2013-11-12 00:00

NUMSA’S decision not to support Cosatu marches against labour brokers and e-tolls points to a serious rift between the organisations.

The continued suspension of Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi seems to be the main reason behind the conflict.

Cosatu (Congress of South African Trade Unions) is expected to hold marches in Durban, Richards Bay, Mandeni, Newcastle and Ulundi today.

This mass action comes in the wake of government enacting into law e-tolls and the youth wage subsidy.

The trade union federation is also unhappy with the amendment to a law that would make unions liable for damage arising from industrial action. It also wants eThekwini Municipality to take over the bus services in Durban and all forensic investigations conducted by municipalities be made public.

Cosatu’s affiliate Numsa (National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa) yesterday announced that it would not participate in today’s Cosatu mass marches.

Numsa wants a special congress convened and for Vavi to be reinstated.

Numsa regional chairperson Basil Cele said the trade union was not afforded enough time to mobilise and explain to its members the rationale behind the mass action.

“We had a week in between to mobilise and explain the mass action to our members.

“We felt one week was insufficient,” Cele said.

He also said the Cosatu mass action would not have any impact on the issues that the labour federation was protesting against.

“We strongly believe the e-tolls have been signed into law so chances of us pushing it further is not going to get anywhere,” he said.

Cele insisted that Numsa was still opposed to labour brokers, e-tolls and the youth wage incentive.

But, Cosatu KZN said it has yet to be notified by its affiliate union of its intentions to pull out of the planned action agreed at the shop steward council held in Durban last weekend.

Cosatu provincial secretary Zet Luzipo said the stay-away, accompanied by marches, would go ahead as planned.

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