Too early to tell if Cosatu made the right decision-SACP

Written By Michael Maunda on Saturday, November 8, 2014 | 10:55 AM

Striking workers hold placards as they demonstrate on the first day of a nationwide strike called by South Africa's National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA) to demand a pay raise of up to 12 percent and better working conditions, in Johannesburg Central Business District on 1 July, 2014. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Communist Party (SACP) says it’s still too early to determine if Cosatu’s Central Executive Committee made the right decision by expelling its largest affiliate Numsa from the federation.

Numsa was expelled in the early hours of this morning after a marathon meeting that saw the union table a lengthy presentation on why it should remain in Cosatu.

In the end delegates expelled Numsa with a vote of 33 versus 24.

The SACP’s Alex Mashilo says the expulsion will be discussed at the party’s political bureau meeting on Monday.

“Whether or not it is the right decision to expel Numsa, those are matters that we will, once we have been informed officially by Cosatu of the position and how they arrived at it, make up our minds on it.”
The Democratic Left Front (DLF) has described the expulsion of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) as an attempt to divide the organised working class in the midst of more taxes and job cuts and says the repercussions will be terrible.

Numsa was expelled from Africa’s largest trade union federation in the early hours of the morning by a vote of 33 to 24 after months of infighting and a widening rift between the union and Cosatu bosses.

Numsa was Cosatu’s largest affiliate with nearly three hundred and fifty thousand members and was also backed by eight other unions in the Cosatu Central Executive Committee.

The DLF’s Brian Ashley says, “What we’ve seen is the division of the organised working class at a time when government’s just announced bigger tax on workers. This is a time when you would want organised workers to be united and to resist these attacks.”

Ashley claims Numsa was chucked out of the federation because its ally Zwelinzima Vavi refused to protect allegedly corrupt leaders.

“They’ve done it because they have been attacked by Zwelenzima Vavi who hasn’t protected them from being investigated for corruption so we have comrades with serious allegations of corruption levelled against them.”

Numsa’s Irvin Jim says the union will now consult with the eight Cosatu affiliates that supported its call for a special national congress.

Numsa was expelled from the trade union federation by 33 votes to 24 in a special Cosatu Central Executive Committee meeting overnight.

A briefing by the metalworkers union officials is due to take place tomorrow.

Jim says while worker unity has been dealt a blow it should mark the start of a new revolution.

“It’s a dark day for the unity of workers but it should activate a revolution to move forward.”

The meeting started at 10am yesterday but a decision was only taken shortly after 1am this morning.

Jim says despite a lengthy presentation based on logic and facts, the metalworkers union’s rival faction in Cosatu has succeeded in booting out Numsa.