By Kingdom Mabuza and Olebogeng Molatlhwa 01 April 2015 00:56
The United Front – the brainchild of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA – said yesterday it would use May 1 to take the fight to Cosatu after Cosatu boss Zwelinzima Vavi was expelled from the federation.
The details of these plans are expected to be revealed at a “workers’ summit”.
It is believed this new organisation would provide Vavi with a new political home.
Said Jara: “This is a moment to rebuild and assert working class confidence and power.
“The UF calls on workers to reclaim the coming May Day into a day of powerful working class solidarity and action [to counter the] challenges that face ordinary and poor people in the country.
“The UF fully supports the proposed workers’ summit. Such a summit will be an important moment to reflect and open the path to a revitalised trade union movement.
“In the UF, a renewed trade union movement will find a progressive home that unites the broad working class.”
Jara blamed the “implosion” of Cosatu on leaders who allowed themselves to be co-opted by employers, the government, the ANC and the South African Communist Party.
Said Jara: “Vavi’s expulsion is not the end of the story.
“It can be used to accelerate a process of reorganisation and re-alignment of the labour movement in South Africa.
“As the UF, we [extend] our hand of solidarity to all workers inside and outside Cosatu for the renewal of militant anti-capitalist trade unionism.
“Out of the wreckage of Cosatu can emerge a renewed labour movement capturing the spirit of principled trade unionism. Comrade Vavi may very well be found playing a critical role in this renewal,” said Jara.
Addressing reporters yesterday following a two-day special central executive committee meeting, Cosatu leaders said the expelled Vavi had simply acquired too much power.
Stated the committee: “Over the years the federation has been operating on the basis of trust and integrity, that those occupying positions of leadership will always respect collective decisions and will always act to advance the best interests of the federation.
“Based on this trust, the federation has allowed individual leaders enough space to execute their tasks without hindrance [but] this has created a space for the accumulation of unchecked power. [Vavi] has abused the trust given to him by the federation. He treated the organisation as his own, including the Cosatu leadership collective and the entire membership as his inferior subjects.”
It is believed this new organisation would provide Zwelinzima Vavi with a new political home. File photo image by: Robert Tshabalala