Vavi calls for 'new' Cosatu workers summit

2015-07-18 17:01
Expelled Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Gallo

Expelled Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Gallo

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Johannesburg - The Cosatu that was founded in 1985 is falling apart and splinter unions are growing as a result, former General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Saturday.

"The reality we are facing is that the Cosatu as we know it before is being fragmented. Splinter unions are springing up, as we've never seen before. These comrades are gone, they are not coming back,"he said

Vavi was speaking at the launch of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA's shop steward election in central Johannesburg.

"[The SA Democratic Teachers Union] currently is splitting. It appears that the whole of the EC is going to go along with chunks of the Free State and Gauteng. The banking union Sasbo is splitting.

"This is what is happening in our federation, like it or not," he said.

Vavi said the federation's leaders did not thoroughly understand the history of Cosatu, if they had they would not have take the risk of sowing divisions by expelling Numsa.

"How can this happen at a time when we need the unity for the working class? You must now know that you have dismissed the biggest union, the fastest growing." 

Moral high ground

Vavi said the other two alliance partners the SA Communist Party and the African National Congress had lost their moral authority.

"Anybody who is refusing to see the writing on the wall does not want to, a new federation is being created in front of our eyes."

He called on workers to address this at a workers summit. 

"We are calling for a workers summit. Those who believe in the independent, militant, socialist orientated, anti-capitalist trade unions - we will say to them come to the workers summit to address the future of the workers in our country.

"That summit must now decide what that future holds."

He also called on Numsa members to join the march against to Pretoria against corruption which would take place on August 19.

The packed hall of women and men stood up and sang "Siyaya e Pitori. Siyaya e Kapital (We are going to Pretoria, we are going to the capital)" as they stomped on the ground.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  numsa  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  labour
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