Numsa edges towards Cosatu split


A week after suffering defeat at the Cosatu national special congress, metalworkers union Numsa is still in limbo. Even with the union's national executive committee having decided to form a new federation after admitting its failure to wrest control of trade union federation Cosatu from president Sidumo Dlamini, Numsa is yet to fully break the few ties it has left with the country's biggest, but also embattled, labour federation.Three outstanding issues still tie Numsa to Cosatu. These are whether to:Abandon the court action it launched to be returned to Cosatu after its expulsion;Withdraw totally from the labour federation; orForge ahead with an appeal to Cosatu's ordinary November congress to allow it back in.All will be decided when Numsa's executive committee meets next month, but deputy general secretary Karl Cloete predicted that the committee would vote "overwhelmingly" in favour of total withdrawal."The NEC concluded that Numsa, together with other affiliates in the Group of 9+ unions, has done everything in its power to reclaim Cosatu through its legal and organisational endeavours."The time has arrived to start with the building blocks of forming a new independent, democratic, worker-controlled, militant, anti-imperialist trade union federation," the national executive said.Aligned unions have accused the ANC of capturing Cosatu.They also blame the federation's leadership of rigging the special congress to silence the workers' right to express their views."From the moment it was called the special national congress was manipulated to ensure that any attempts to discuss the crisis facing Cosatu and to reverse the expulsion of its biggest affiliate, Numsa, and Cosatu general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi were prevented," said the SA Football Players Union general secretary Thulaganyo Gaoshubelwe.He said unions sympathetic to Numsa and Vavi were defeated after a concerted fight to challenge credentials at the congress."Delegates fought gallantly to challenge the credentials report and to include important items in the agenda," he said."The ruling class has stolen Cosatu and many of its affiliates," said Gaoshubelwe...

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