Johannesburg – Cosatu on Thursday threatened to withdraw support for the “arrogant” ANC and warned the party to stop taking its alliance partner for granted.
“Cosatu is concerned that its ally the ANC is starting to treat the support of the workers with disdain and takes the loyalty of the federation for granted,” it said in a statement.
The trade union federation said it was frustrated with slow or little progress in implementing the national health insurance scheme, minimum wage agreements, and a comprehensive social security plan.
Cosatu is facing increasing pressure from workers demanding that the ANC delivers on issues agreed to, in exchange for its support in the 2014 national elections.
A Cosatu official told News24 that the federation’s leadership had been trying to quell a hardening stance against the ANC within its central executive committee (CEC) over the past few months. It was trying to convince its CEC that it would continue talking to the ANC’s leaders.
The official, who did not want to be named, said meetings with President Jacob Zuma, the ANC’s top six officials and Cabinet ministers had not delivered tangible results. Instead, they had been met with arrogance.
Cosatu’s leadership was expected to give feedback to its CEC in two weeks, “but they have nothing”, the official said.
Cosatu said in a statement on Thursday that it supported the ANC because it understood it to be committed to working class issues. However, the party and its government were turning their backs on workers.
“Cosatu is equally tired of the ANC government’s many failures and broken promises and the condescension and arrogance of some ANC leaders, who dismiss Cosatu and workers’ legitimate demands as bargaining council matters.”
It accused the ANC of failing to deliver on its 2014 manifesto and resolutions taken at its 2012 Mangaung and 2007 Polokwane elective conferences.
Cosatu pushed hard for Zuma to become party president in 2007, to succeed Thabo Mbeki. On Tuesday, one of its affiliates, Nehawu, called on Zuma to step down.