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Mon May 30 08:54:41 SAST 2016

Cope welcomes new labour federation

TMG Digital | 01 February, 2016 20:10
Former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on Monday said the new workers’ movement would be formed in March and launched on May 1. File photo
Image by: ROBERT TSHABALALA

The Congress of the People has welcomed the announcement that a new labour federation was being formed.

Cope released a statement on Monday saying that seven trade unions were to form an independent labour federation.

Reports indicate that metalworkers union Numsa was behind the move to launch the new federation.

A workers summit was to be held late in March by the group of “nine-plus unions”. Last week‚ the nine-plus unions agreed to found the new federation at the summit.

Numsa confirmed on Monday that the summit would be used to found the new federation.

Former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on Monday said the new workers’ movement would be formed in March and launched on May 1.

Cope set out the reasons it supported the new federation in its statement.

“Since its inception COPE has steadfastly maintained that trade unions must be independent and not be integrally linked to any political party. The main responsibility of a labour movement is to look after the interest of workers on the work floor and not to become an appendage of a political party‚” the party said.

“COPE is saddened that the once powerful Cosatu has been reduced to a toothless bulldog by the Zuma ANC.

“COPE wishes Mr Vavi and the new federation the very best.“

But COPE’s statement may be premature. According to reports‚ not all the members of the nine-plus group are yet committed to the new entity. The South Africa Commercial‚ Catering and Allied Workers Union‚ the Food and Allied Workers Union‚ and the SA Football Players Union‚ who are still affiliates of Cosatu‚ want to confer with their members before committing to the new federation.

Other members of the nine-plus grouping include the Public and Allied Workers Union of SA (Pawusa)‚ the Municipal and Allied Trade Union of SA (Matusa) and Democratic and Allied Workers Union of SA (Demawusa)‚ the newly formed South African Public Service Union (Sapsu) and the as-yet unregistered Finance Union of Workers (Fuwo).

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