Build mass power‚ Jay Naidoo tells new union federation - Times LIVE
Wed May 24 02:30:26 SAST 2017

Build mass power‚ Jay Naidoo tells new union federation

Penwell Dlamini | 2017-04-21 16:03:24.0
Jay Naidoo. File photo.
Image by: Muntu Vilakazi/City PressGallo Images

Former general secretary of trade union federation Cosatu Jay Naidoo has urged the leadership of the new federation being launched in Boksburg to focus on growing mass power.

Naidoo was joined by another former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi during the launch of the South African Federation of Trade Unions on Friday.

“Our country is now at crossroads. What we have to understand is that at that crossroads it is only one language that those in power understand and that is building power. It is not about how articulate we are‚ not about our power point presentation. It is do we have power at the point of production‚” said Naidoo.

The new federation comes after the country’s biggest union‚ the National Union of Metal Workers (Numsa)‚ was expelled by Cosatu. Numsa regrouped with Vavi‚ who had also been expelled from Cosatu‚ and other activists to mobilise and find a new home for workers.

Numsa openly criticised President Jacob Zuma and his Cabinet for ignoring the plight of the workers. Among one of the contentious issues was government insistence to go ahead and implement e-tolling in Gauteng against the will of the workers.

Naidoo urged the new federation to ensure that it is united and it puts people at the centre of all its goals.

He added that the “ancestors” who formed Cosatu would only want one thing - a united federation.

“They want us to be unified. They want our beautiful country to serve our people. There should be no unemployment. There should be no poverty. [What the ancestors of Cosatu are saying is] don’t just think about yourself. Think about the 55 million people. Think about 1994 where we made a covenant … and ask yourself why have we not done it.”


If you have an opinion you would like to share on this article, please send us an e-mail to the Times LIVE iLIVE team. In the mean time, click here to view the Times LIVE iLIVE section.