Workers: Cosatu internal battle having bad effect

2015-05-01 14:01
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GALLERY: Cosatu May Day march

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) march through Durban city centre for the annual May Day rally. View all the pics here.

Durban - Congress of SA Trade Union members attending a May Day rally in Durban on Friday said the internal battles in the trade union federation were not helping workers solve their day to day problems.

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Sabelo Mzimela, 29, a KwaDukuza Waste Management employee said: "There are so many issues affecting workers at the moment.

"There are hundreds of people on contract that have worked for many years. People are working without uniforms and some don't even have UIF, which makes working very difficult."


Mzimela felt that the internal fighting between leaders in Cosatu was having a negative effect.

"The faction fighting at top level is affecting us because the gap between management and the workers is too much.

"We are not happy with the federation."

He said those that are in charge should visit municipalities to check on the workers.

"We feel very neglected as the workers. There is so much infighting at top level but there are so many unemployed people sitting at home," said Mzimela.


Beth Vickers, 55, from Pinetown, said she did not believe that there was enough transformation.

"I don't believe that business has transformed as much as they should have in implementing the laws. I see them as restricting and limiting the laws and change that should be taking place," she told News24.

"Instead of embracing them they complain about them. We just have to look at all the laws affecting labour.

"It's not just simply the basic employment labour relations but there are health and safety issues as well."

Sithembiso Dlomo, 43, from Clermont, said there were many issues facing unions at the moment.

"As you can see today, there are two separate marches. Numsa is holding its own march and Cosatu is holding its own march on the same day and to me this shows that there are people who think that they are above the union.

"This is causing factions in the unions because they are too focused on politics than dealing with issues affecting the workers," said Dlomo.

Back to basics

He said the unions needed to go back to the basics.

"They need to sit down and talk about the real issues affecting the workers," said Dlomo.

Thousands of Cosatu members marched from Gugu Dlamini Amphitheatre at The Workshop in Durban to Curries Fountain.

President Jacob Zuma was expected to address the crowd there.

He arrived at the rally just before 13:00.

The Numsa march, led by the union's general secretary Irvin Jim and expelled Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, was expected to start at 09:00 at Dinuzulu Park and end at the City Hall.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  numsa  |  durban  |  politics  |  labour

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