Fawu owes us R5m - Cosatu

2016-08-26 07:02
Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali. (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali. (Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

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Johannesburg - Cosatu plans to recoup over R5m in affiliation fees from its former member, the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) .

“The central executive committee noted that Fawu’s leadership have succeeded to push for the union’s disaffiliation with Cosatu and join a non-existent federation,” Congress of SA Trade Unions general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali told journalists on Thursday.

He was briefing media on its central executive committee meeting, which ended on Wednesday.

“We are not surprised by the decision, but we are planning to meet with many Fawu members, including provincial structures, that have made it clear they are not leaving the federation,” he said. 

The union broke ranks with the federation this week, to join former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi's new labour federation. 

Ntshalintshali said Fawu had only paid the federation its fee to be part of its national congress in November 2015. He said Fawu owed it money from its May Day event and election campaigns.

He said Cosatu had spent almost R1m “helping them in a major case”,  Ntshalintshali said. 

"If you ask if we can survive, Fawu has not paid since the last congress. They only paid to come to the congress to be in good standing. Since then, they have not paid, but the federation has been able to proceed. The money that is owed is R5m.”

In terms of Cosatu’s constitution, they were allowed to recoup the money.

Ntshalintshali said they had been patient with Fawu and tolerated its decision to boycott Cosatu meetings. 

“We did this for workers, because more than one million farm workers are vulnerable and are crying for a united and stronger union that will focus its energies on defending them from exploitation.”

Fawu general secretary Katishi Masemola confirmed they owed Cosatu affiliation fees.

“We have not paid for some time. As to whether we are about to pay these fees now that we decided to disaffiliate, we plan to take legal advice. If we are advised to pay, we will pay,” Masemola told News24. 

Read more on:    fawu  |  cosatu  |  johannesburg  |  labour

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