Cosatu denies losing members

2012-04-12 20:09

Johannesburg - Cosatu-affiliated unions are not losing members, contrary to recent reports, spokesperson Patrick Craven said on Thursday.

He was responding to the release of Adcorp's employment index earlier this week which indicated a "growing crisis" in the South African trade union movement.

"This certainly does not apply to Cosatu-affiliated unions which on average are still growing, despite the global economic crisis and the accelerating casualisation of labour," Craven said in a statement.

Adcorp said on Tuesday trade unions were losing members.

"Since 2006 trade unions have lost 129 424 members which translates to a loss of R95 773 760 per annum in membership dues," Adcorp's labour market analyst Loane Sharp said.

Craven criticised this finding for lacking an attributable source.

Adcorp said the source was one of its divisions, Adcorp Analytics.

Craven said Adcorp - which he called "a firm of labour brokers" - should take some of the blame where unions had lost members.

"If other unions are losing members, then the Adcorps of this world must accept a big share of the blame.

"One of our reasons for demanding the banning of labour broking is that it, and other forms of casualisation, make it far harder for workers to exercise their constitutional right to join a union."

Craven said workers without permanent work, who were dependent on labour brokers, found it difficult to join a trade union.

"Casualisation makes it easier for employers, especially labour brokers, to keep them unorganised and exploit them more ruthlessly," he said.

Adcorp found there had been low participation in strikes, with only 1.4% of members turning out for strikes since 2006, and strike attendance ranging from zero percent to 8.8%.

Craven called this "suspicious".

"The idea of a strike involving zero percent of the workers is mind-boggling and casts serious doubt on all the other 'findings'.

"Ironically, if there is any truth at all in the assertion that so few workers are involved in strike action, they should inform their fellow capitalists, who constantly get hysterical about the alarming increase in strikes."

Craven said Cosatu was doing everything possible to reduce unemployment.

"The trade unions are playing their role in promoting the new growth path, infrastructure development and other programmes which will create jobs.

"Labour and the other three Nedlac constituencies have entered into agreements with government departments, and have signed accords, which will help us to play our full part in creating five million new jobs by 2020."

This was a better way to deal with unemployment, he said.

Adcorp was not immediately available on Thursday afternoon to comment.

  • Piet - 2012-04-12 20:24

    It did not take much for the ANC to buy you out on the toll issue. Of course you will lose members.

      Scouter - 2012-04-12 20:37

      When the COSATU rank & file finally realise that they have been shafted by their less than honourable leadership, a blood bath will ensue. Mark these words.

  • Farmworker - 2012-04-12 20:29

    "Since 2006 trade unions have lost 129 424..." Come one Adcorp you can do better than that, we are in 2010 now. How many did they they sign. The question is do they have more members joining in or more signing out. Do they have less members than they had few years ago, how did you guys come up to that conclusion.

      Godfrey - 2012-04-12 20:54

      @Farmworker notice COSATU did not specify their "on average are still growing" numbers.

      Scouter - 2012-04-12 21:19

      I think that we might actually be in 2012, Farmworker - but hey, I may well be wrong.

      Farmworker - 2012-04-12 21:23

      @Godfrey If their statistical release is to be credible they must have figures to answer the question I raised. Unless this is rather a disingenuous or mischievous reporting by news24

      Farmworker - 2012-04-12 22:10

      2012 it is thanks Mr Scouter

  • Al - 2012-04-12 21:03

    Cosatu is losing members, like Patrick Craven losing laptops

  • Graham - 2012-04-12 21:03

    They are the reason for unemployment! Who in there right mind would employ unionized staff with our current labour laws. Ask any small or medium business why there aren't expanding or taking on staff. By the way Patrick were do all those billions in union fees go?

      Scouter - 2012-04-12 21:24

      Billions, Graham? I think not - hundreds of thousands I would believe, however.

      Glyn - 2012-04-12 21:49

      @Scouter - Who cares whether it is billions, millions or brazilians! The cosatu and their lackeys the anc have cost this country a heck of a lot of jobs! Time to vote DA! Send craven home to his transport cafe in dock road, Liverpool! Where there are no docks due to unions!

  • nspaynter - 2012-04-12 21:20

    I would never join a COSATU union as long as it is affiliated with the ANC and encourages strike action. If I needed to join a union I would choose one that belonged to FEDUSA.

  • Glyn - 2012-04-12 21:43

    @Craven - YOU and YOUR UNIONS have cost thousands of workers their jobs. COSATU is an elitist organisation of the employed. Stuff the unemployed. Go home, Craven! Rune to dear old england.

  • Carry - 2012-04-13 07:18


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