Cosatu 'will degenerate' without Numsa

2014-11-08 12:31
(File, Sapa)

(File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The expulsion of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) from Cosatu will see the labour federation degenerate, the Democratic Left Front (DLF) said on Saturday.

"The expulsion of Numsa brings an end to Cosatu as a fighting trade union," treasurer Brian Ashley said in a statement.

"Cosatu will degenerate further into essentially a sweetheart and bureaucratised union."

The metalworkers union was expelled during a special central executive committee (CEC) sitting on Friday. General secretary Irvin Jim confirmed the expulsion on Saturday.

"Yes, Numsa has been expelled," he said in an SMS.

Congress of SA Trade Unions spokesperson Patrick Craven said he was not sure whether the trade union federation would send out a statement on the matter on Saturday.

"The meeting ran into the early hours of this morning, we are still trying to digest what happened," he said.

"I can confirm that there was a vote to expel Numsa by 33 votes to 24."

CEC members voted on whether Numsa should stay, with 33 votes for expulsion and 24 against it.

On Friday, Jim gave a presentation defending the union against possible expulsion from the Cosatu. Numsa went to court on Thursday to try and prevent its expulsion.

The case was postponed and the CEC meeting went ahead.

Ashley described the expulsion was a "sad day" and a "travesty of justice".

He said the working class would face greater and bolder attacks from the neoliberal state and predatory capitalism.

"During this entire saga, we have seen Cosatu under the leadership of [Sidumo] Dlamini and [Bheki] Ntshalintshali capitulate before the youth wage subsidy, eTolls, NDP and perhaps most damning of all, defend the indefensible -- the Marikana massacre," said Ashley.

Ashley said Numsa would continue to fight against the miscarriage of justice.

"It will fight to regroup the remaining and best elements of Cosatu."

Ashley said that the time was now for those who claimed to be left, progressive and working class to be counted. He said they should regroup around the leadership of Numsa and fight for a new Cosatu that would be militant, democratic, worker controlled, independent and socialist.

"This will open a new chapter in the history of the workers' movement in South Africa. Now is not the time to mourn. We must organise," he said.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  numsa  |  patrick craven  |  irvin jim

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