Protect workers’ interests or ‘pay the price’ – Cosatu warns ANC
Cosatu has issued the ANC with an ultimatum ahead of the national elections in 2019‚ saying the party will “pay the price” if it fails to balance the demands of “capital” and those of labour.
In a strongly worded statement read to reporters at a briefing on Tuesday‚ the federation said workers would have no reason to continue supporting the ANC if it does not promote and protect their interests.
The party’s special central executive committee meeting held on Monday discussed the mass job losses in the country‚ the impact of the VAT increase on the poor and alleged plans by the government to retrench public servants.
The CEC also resolved that Cosatu leaders should request an urgent meeting with the ANC top six leadership to communicate “a clear message that workers will not vote against their interests in the upcoming elections”.
Cosatu 1st deputy president Tyotyo James said the workers’ support for the ANC did not come without conditions. “Workers in this country voted [for] the ANC to protect their interests‚ that’s the reason. If the ANC will betray the interest of workers‚ they will have to rethink their support of the ANC. Our vote for the ANC is not free‚ it is for the ANC to continue to protect our interests‚” he said.
Cosatu has long complained of the ANC’s failure to implement its own policies in government‚ blaming Treasury for the failing economy and its impact on workers and the poor.
The federation said its upcoming national congress would decide how the federation should deal with the ANC’s failure to implement its own policies and those of the alliance.
Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said the resolution would inform the process of reconfiguring the alliance as the status quo was unsustainable.
Cosatu and the SACP had been in discussions about how the alliance could be reconfigured to ensure it was effective‚ as opposed to the current model that saw its resolutions never seeing the light of day.
The Cosatu national congress will be attended by over 2‚000 delegates and will be held in Midrand in September.