South Africa: NUMSA's expulsion from COSATU is 'an attack on the poor and an attack on workers'

Statement by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa

November 9, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- What we have warned the South African workers and broader public about has come to pass. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) with its 350,000 members was expelled as an affiliate by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in the early hours of Saturday morning (after 1 am), November 8, 2014, at a Special Central Executive Committee meeting (SCEC). This expulsion took place through a vote which was 33 for our expulsion and 24 against.

We have convened this press conference to state for the record our anger and dismay at this and factional and irresponsible action. We want to be on record to say that what happened was that a few leaders (many with no mandates from their own structures) decided the future of 2.2 million COSATU members in a boardroom through a vote.

NUMSA's application for urgent relief

It would be remembered that NUMSA went to the South Gauteng High Court on November 6, 2014, to request the courts of law rescue NUMSA from a Kangaroo Court that was to be convened as a SCEC of COSATU. Some media reports and the president of COSATU went public to falsely claim that the court ruled against NUMSA's application. If truth be told, the attorneys of NUMSA and COSATU presented the judge with the following agreement:

1. That NUMSA's application be postponed and that the judge do not make a ruling on urgency.

2. That COSATU's letter of February 11, 2014, making reference to five charges that NUMSA must answer should not be so wide as to say "but not limited to". NUMSA should only address the five charges as per the COSATU letter of February 11, 2014.

3. That cost be reserved.

For NUMSA this was enough of a victory because for close to a year NUMSA has been asking the COSATU National Office Bearers to provide the real and actual reasons why NUMSA would be suspended or expelled. COSATU failed up to November 6, 2014, to show NUMSA the courtesy and decency of a reply. It took a High Court to limit the charges made by COSATU against NUMSA to five issues.

NUMSA's submission to COSATU

NUMSA had been asked to explain to the SCEC why it should not be expelled, which we did very comprehensively, providing a detailed dispassionate analysis of our political and organisational analysis in relation to working-class struggles. (See our 48-page submission with a more detailed version of 105 pages.)

We founded this federation. It is a federation that is governed by a constitution that provides for a minimum number of affiliates democratically requesting a constitutional meeting, especially the convening of a Special National Congress, if the need arises.

Our request for a Special National Congress, given the untenable situation the federation finds itself in, is in line with the constitutional provisions of COSATU. We are in an untenable situation in relation to:

How the policies of the ruling party, the African National Congress, negatively affect the working class;

And how the leadership of affiliates and the Federation respond to these anti-working class policies.

The NUMSA demands at the CEC are all located within the COSATU constitution but the leadership of the federation has continued to violate its own constitution.

Political division

One of the most important reasons for the tensions around all the constitutional violations is a political division between those who support the interests of the working class, as our constitution requires us to do, and those who are prepared to sacrifice those interests for an alliance with the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Communist Party (SACP).

The "hearing" against NUMSA on Friday, November 7, 2014, in the SCEC was not a fair hearing as the decision to expel NUMSA had already been decided by some affiliate leaders using many different platforms over the past year.

In fact even members of the ANC task team, who had intervened in the COSATU CEC process of dealing with NUMSA, themselves demonstrated their bias against NUMSA and its congress resolutions.

NUMSA's biggest crime has been to democratically, in its own congress, argue for the political independence of the federation, given the worsening material conditions of the working class as a result of neoliberal ANC policies. We have noted with grave concern how our congress resolutions have been misrepresented and distorted.

NUMSA has always intended to procedurally argue for its congress resolutions to be democratically debated by workers at a COSATU Special National Congress (SNC). All attempts to stop the SNC are linked to a fear of the outcomes of democratic debate by workers about their political and material future.

NUMSA wants to state for the record some key areas of struggle with the ANC, SACP and national office bearers of some affiliates and national office bearers COSATU:

1. NUMSA is concerned that key policies of the ANC; the National Development Plann (NDP), which is a cut and paste of [the formerly pro-aparthied] Democratic Alliance policy, and the Growth, emplyment and Redistribution plan (GEAR), have replaced the Freedom Charter. The Freedom Charter gave the ANC its liberation character. It is a militant, popular program which challenged property relations in South Africa.

The NDP is a neoliberal program, which entrenches existing property relations and attacks the working class and the poor in the interests of mining and finance capital.

2. The ANC leadership has abandoned democracy.

3. There is a serious threat to COSATU's militancy and independence. COSATU has become consumed by internal battles between two forces:

(i) Those who continue to support the ANC and SACP, with their neoliberal agenda.

(ii) And those who, despite their understanding of the ANC as a multi-class organisation, consciously and consistently fight for an independent, militant federation which stands for the interests of the working class before any other class.

4. Both at Marikana and in the farmworkers strike in the Western Cape, the armed forces of the state intervened in support of the owners of capital against striking workers. In both instances the result was the murder of workers whose only crime was to refuse to sell their labour for less than a living wage.

The inconsistency on how affiliates are treated demonstrates a well-orchestrated agenda against NUMSA. Other affiliates have rejected the [ANC-COSATU-SACP] Alliance and have not been threatened with similar sanction. There are three known examples of this which include:

1. NUMSA itself in 1993 resolved to canvass COSATU and its affiliates to support our position that we break with the Alliance and to form a workers' party. COSATU affiliates democratically engaged with this debate in the federation's national congress and it is common cause that NUMSA lost that debate in COSATU, yet no strong-arm tactics were ever applied to deal with NUMSA's democratically arrived at decision.

2. SASBO [the Finance Union, formerly the South African Society of Bank Officials] applied to become an affiliate of COSATU and is now an affiliate. Its constitution specifies that it "shall not belong to or support any political party". It does not contribute to the COSATU Political Fund. The leadership of COSATU at that time were prioritising unity of the working class. We can't say the same of the current leadership. Yet again SASBO had not been dragged in to a Kangaroo Court.

3. On March 9, 2011, the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) issued a public press statement which directly confronted the status of the federation in the tripartite alliance. It listed the failures of the ANC. It then recorded that the union resolved: "In the spirit of SAMWU's commitment to support the ANC in the forthcoming elections, we find it impossible to convince our members and the community to do this until the issues mentioned above are resolved.We thus call upon the ANC leadership to intervene urgently to address our concerns."

Other affiliates violate federation policy without consequence. Some examples of this include:

  • The National Union of Miners (NUM) has on several occasions disagreed with the COSATU position on nationalisation.
  • The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) has spoken against the COSATU campaign on e-tolls

There has been no call made for their expulsion.

NUMSA is in good standing and there has been no threat of expulsion of the many other affiliates who have not been in good standing in the past. We have paid both our subscriptions and the COSATU/SACP political levy. It is in fact the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) and POPCRU who have outstanding levies to pay over to the federation.

However NUMSA is being asked to continue paying a levy to the SACP which continues to threaten to liquidate the union and has publicly declared that it will intervene in the federation to isolate what it called a "lingering irritation".

Of the different issues that NUMSA must account for to the COSATU CEC the one that appears to be driving the call for our expulsion is the decision to expand our scope of organising.

We have provided a comprehensive presentation that demonstrated:

1. How value chain organising already exists and is being used by a number of affiliates and new unions.

2. That other affiliates organise across sectors and compete with one another and there is no sanction from the federation

3. Almost all constitutions of affiliates overlap in scope and to date the federation has not addressed this.

4. There are many overlaps in scope that have led to conflict among affiliates.

5. A detailed list showing that the vast majority of affiliates have amended their scope to infringe on others.

We want to reiterate for the record that workers are approaching us and asking us to organise them. We are not poaching. We provided evidence of this to the SCEC.

Also for the record we want to repeat our position about the unconstitutional and divisive conduct of the COSATU leadership and some un-mandated leaders in the CEC:

1. The president of COSATU [Sidumo Dlamini] has violated the constitution when he refused to convene the SNC since the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) made the first call in April 2013 and eight other affiliates followed the call thereby meeting the constitutional threshold.

2. COSATU CEC deciding not convene the SNC when it had no powers to do so.

3. Suspended the COSATU general secretary [Zwelinzima Vavi] who had to be reinstated through the South Gauteng High Court

4. The continued presence of Zingiswa Losi in all constitutional meetings in her capacity as second deputy president despite the fact that she has ceased to be a member of an affiliate.

5. Acted in bad faith in the process of seeking to expel NUMSA.

6. Failed in their duties of unifying the working class.

7. It is becoming a common practice that workers' control, open debate and criticism and the right to differ in the federation are suppressed

We told the COSATU SCEC on Friday night that they are more loyal to an alliance of the ANC and SACP than they are to the working class.

We told the COSATU SCEC on Friday night that they want to expel us because we constantly remind them how they are failing to protect the interests of the working class, which includes both the employed and the unemployed.

What are we going to do about our expulsion?

What are we going to do about our expulsion? As a worker-controlled organisation we are going to convene NUMSA constitutional meetings and mass meetings to develop a program of how we move forward and how we continue to raise our voices on working-class struggles. This fight is not over!

The NUMSA leadership calls on all NUMSA members across the length and breadth of the country to remain united. We further call on all workers across all affiliates of COSATU to remain united and to reject the illegal expulsion of NUMSA by a factional group of leaders led by the COSATU president.

Today it is sad to see leaders who are hell bent on violating the COSATU constitution at every turn to serve their selfish political interest.

Today we see leaders who can knowingly destroy the federation of Elijah Barayi [COSATU's first president] and [another former COSATU president] John Gomomo. A federation built on the sacrifices, sweat and blood of so many workers who have come before us.

NUMSA's leadership remain resolute that we shall continue serving in COSATU structures in different capacities as we will challenge the boardroom dismantling of our federation.

We urge our local and provincial leadership to attend all the COSATU meetings in their numbers as we will not be pushed out by a now hidden now open agenda to split the federation. We remind our local and provincial leadership that there are many COSATU affiliates who are also prepared to fight to reclaim and unit our federation.

We know there is a special project of individuals who are ex-NUMSA and ex-COSATU leaders, (many of whom have been rewarded with big positions in parliament and legislatures), who are working externally with the leaders in the COSATU CEC, ANC and SACP to liquidate NUMSA. They are now going to try to get into our workplaces. They will try to get into our workplaces using the union they set up called Metal and Electrical Workers Union of South Africa (MEWUSA). We are prepared to fight back.

COSATU's decision to expel NUMSA must be understood for what it is -- a well co-ordinated reactionary attack on the organisation of workers -- an attack on COSATU, an attack on the poor and an attack on workers.

These reactionary forces that have been plotting within the alliance to destroy the unity of COSATU are doing this for their own selfish material interest. This COSATU boardroom struggle is not about workers' interest.

What we must give them credit for is that they managed to achieve what the apartheid regime failed to do which was to destroy a federation that had been both a shield and spear in the hands of workers and in the consciousness of the nation.

We call on all workers to stand together to remain united and fighting till the bitter end. All workers must join metalworkers in dislodging the boardroom wedge drivers who can expel and dismiss workers because they demand democratic worker control of unions. These boardroom wedge drivers have long forgotten that the task of unions is to:

Serve the interest of workers.

Champion shopfloor struggles.

Link shopfloor struggles with community struggles.

Pursue a revolutionary agenda through campaigns that must be taken forward as resolved in the COSATU 11th congress

NUMSA leadership across the length and breadth of this country will be convening open shopsteward council meetings and open general members' meetings. These meetings will be open to all COSATU members so that they can understand why they also should be fighting our illegal suspension.

We will in addition be explaining our SNC resolutions to all workers in these meetings and explain the underlying political struggle in the federation.

The NUMSA leadership calls on all our structures to intensify service delivery to our members in line with our Service Charter adopted at our December 2013 SNC. We must forge ahead with our recruitment target of 400,000 by 2016. We make a clarion call to all workers interested in a militant worker-controlled union to join NUMSA in their numbers.

We call on all metalworkers to remain vigilant in these testing times as the wedge-drivers move out of the COSATU boardroom and attempt to move into our workplaces. They will be driven out of NUMSA workplaces. This we are confident of.

There is no turning back on the NUMSA SNC resolutions and in line with these resolutions we are going to launch a national united front in December 2014.

We shall consolidate our work on the Movement for Socialism in the March 2015 central committee of NUMSA.

We remain committed to exploring an independent working-class political organ.

Our solidarity is our strength. Our unity is our strength.


Press Statement of the Seven Unions: Defend COSATU, Defend NUMSA, Hands Off Zwelinzima Vavi: Forward to an Independent, Worker Controlled Federation!

This Press Conference has been called to provide an opportunity for the media, the public at large, and especially trade union members, what this group of Unions have to say about the paralysis undermining our Federation.  We hope that this Press Conference will finally refute any suggestion that the Unions gathered here are in anyway subservient to, or under the control or influence of, NUMSA through financial or any other means. NUMSA is one of us, and shares our commitment to rebuilding a democratic and worker controlled COSATU. 

Sad and Shameful Period in COSATU’s History

This has been a sad and shameful week for South African trade union movement and the working class in general.  COSATU, once a militant and profoundly democratic trade union federation, which was the envy of workers worldwide, has been reduced to a factional shell of its former self and glory. The expulsion of NUMSA, which represents 350,000 metal workers, by 33 CEC delegates, (many of whom had no mandate to do so, if mandates were to be revealed) is an attack on the organised working class.

Throughout this shocking affair, NUMSA comrades have been treated unfairly by the COSATU leadership. They have been denied the most basic rules of fairness and justice, and have had to defend themselves against a series of arbitrary accusations for which no evidence is provided of wrong doing. They have been picked out and victimised when many other Unions have taken similar positions and nothing has happened.

At the CEC last week, NUMSA had prepared a compelling response in advance to the ‘charges’ that had been levelled against it, and which had been defined by the High Court.  On every single accusation that had been levelled against it, NUMSA gave a full and comprehensive response, and pointed out how this was entirely consistent with existing policy, and the practices of other unions. However despite the content of the NUMSA document, it was clear from the outset that a particular cluster of Unions, wanted one thing only, and that was the expulsion of NUMSA from COSATU. Some of the leaders of these unions had stated well in advance that they were not prepared or willing to engage in a debate on these issues, but wanted simply to ‘surgically remove’ NUMSA from the Federation.

The rush to expel Numsa despite its plea for reason

As far back as February 2014, a Special CEC came to the conclusion that Numsa must be suspended and/or expelled. The CEC called this a preliminary view and requested Numsa to show cause why it should not be suspended or expelled. We now know that Numsa provided an initial 59 page statement as to why they should not be suspended or expelled from Cosatu. Numsa registered in the SCEC of 7th November 2014 that the Cosatu NOB’s never responded to their submissions.

Before turning to the events of 7th November 2014 we must say that the Unions in the CEC who were pushing for NUMSAs expulsion moved a motion on the 23rd of October 2014 that Numsa must be expelled even before NUMSA could be asked to make representations on why it cannot be suspended. These sister unions of ours made a U-turn (after the determination to vote on 2 motions after lunch) and suggested that NUMSA must be afforded an opportunity to explain why it should not be expelled. Therein lays the predetermined decision to expel NUMSA under the stewardship of the COSATU National Office Bearers.

During the SCEC on 7th November 2014, the NUMSA General Secretary made a comprehensive submission of 48 pages (for close to 3 hours) providing details in respect of 5 charges the Cosatu NOB’s  levelled against Numsa, in addition to providing a more than 100 pages submission in the SCEC. Numsa’s presentation isolated and responded to the following charges with compelling arguments;

1.       The decision to call on COSATU to break its alliance with the ANC – Here Numsa pointed out how SASBO has a non-aligned political policy and does not contribute to the Cosatu/Sacp Political Levy. Numsa also pointed out that Samwu took a similar resolution not to vote for the ANC and yet none of these unions were ever threatened with expulsion;

2.       The decision to organise a march to Cosatu House to coincide with the 1st CEC in February 2014 – Numsa refuted the claim that it organised a march to Cosatu House even if its structures mandated their leadership to do so;

3.       The decision to hold back on paying affiliation fees to COSATU until the special national congress is held – Numsa made the case that is was fully paid up and an affiliate in good standing even if there was a resolution withholding subscriptions;

4.       The decision to cease to pay their contribution into the COSATU/SACP levy – Numsa argued that many affiliates were in arrears but that Numsa nevertheless felt unhappy to contribute to SACP coffers given the attack on Numsa by SACP leaders;

5.       The decision to extend Numsa’s scope of operation – The Numsa presentation provided a very detailed record of how almost all affiliates in Cosatu had amended their scope which extends in to the scope of other unions.

Having listened to NUMSA, a sincere request was made to the CEC that unions be allowed to take back to their structures the very comprehensive and detailed submission of NUMSA for a mandate. It was also requested the COSATU NOB’s to process the NUMSA submission with their own verification of the 5 issues NUMSA made in their submission.

As is public knowledge now is the fact that a 33/24 vote led to the expulsion of Numsa. Any reasonable person must ask the following questions;

·         Was the process fair and did natural justice find expression in this whole saga? The answer is NO.

·         Did the CEC make a guilty finding on the 5 charges? The answer is NO.

Form this it is clear that Numsa has been expelled unfairly.

The NUMSA document was not circulated in advance, and affiliates were deliberately denied an opportunity to discuss it before hand and secure a democratic mandate from their Unions.

Nevertheless, NUMSA presented their document and provided very firm evidence of how the positions that their December 2013 Congress had taken had their origins in existing COSATU policy for example:

The Failure of the CEC

At the CEC it was obvious that some affiliates were not interested in a rational engagement on the issues raised by NUMSA. They were not prepared to listen, to take the discussion back to their own members, or indeed, abide by the rules of natural justice as espoused in the COSATU Constitution.

NUMSA were at the CEC to be victimised and denigrated not because they have transgressed any of COSATU’s policies, but because they were implementing them! All of the accusations levelled at NUMSA are simply not credible, and it is the duty of all trade unionist to defend them against the trumped up chances, and unsubstantiated accusations that have been levelled against them.

The expulsion of NUMSA will not solve the intractable paralysis that has consumed COSATU since its watershed 11th Congress of 2012 and its revolutionary-compelling resolutions. If anything, it will make it far worse for the working class and the State and Capital will be the winners.

All of the Unions represented at this press conference are not prepared to see NUMSA abused in this way, for they know that they may well find themselves attacked despite the fact that they too have played a meaningful role in building and maintaining COSATU over the years. Now is the time to come to defence of NUMSA and to challenge the unconstitutional and divisive actions of the current leadership.  It is time to take off the gloves, and fight for the Federation and save it from those who are wilfully plunging it into this unprecedented crisis.

Defending NUMSA, Defending COSATU

The current leadership, as represented by the majority in the CEC, has become paralysed by factionalism, negligent of the needs of members and the interests of the of the working class, and has frantically turned away from the radical worker biased policies endorsed by successive COSATU Congresses that made it a powerful defender of the working class. Instead, it has turned towards blatant neo-liberalism as enshrined in the National Development Plan (NDP) and other Government policies. 

The fate of COSATU is at the heart of the current divisions. What we are witnessing is a battle of ideas, a contestation between revolutionary and reactionary policies and programmes, and a fight for the very soul of COSATU. This is a battle between those who want to see a radical transformation of our economy, and those who have abandoned all hope of radical change in favour of an insipid and increasingly conservative form of class collaboration.  This is a contest between those who want to implement the radical policies agreed by successive COSATU Congresses, and those who want to turn the clock backwards, and reduce COSATU to a labour desk.   

The Attacks on NUMSA Politically Motivated

NUMSA has been especially targeted by those with vested interests in maintaining a passive Alliance, in which COSATU is seen as a mere rubber-stamp, despite the fact that government policies have not benefited the working class. A section of unions has been prepared to expel 350,000 metal workers from COSATU by casting a meagre 33 votes.

This irrational and vindictive action has more than anything else laid bare a shameful episode in our history as a labour movement. Those responsible for dividing COSATU at a time when its unity is needed more than ever will one day be called to account, and be forced to explain how and why they engineered divisions in the organised working class for their own narrow factional and political interests.

NUMSA Not Found Guilty But Expelled Anyway!

The Unions represented at this press conference completely reject the charge that NUMSA had contradicted the policies of the Federation. On the contrary, the attacks on NUMSA, and before then on Comrade Zwelinzima Vavi, were made precisely because they were seeking to implement COSATU policies and re-open discussion on others. This has always been a vibrant part of the internal discussion in COSATU. How else can policies be refined, made relevant, and connect with the changing needs of the working class?

What the expulsion shows is that even revisiting existing policy, and seeking to democratically clarify your own stance, is now considered ‘treasonable’ by the leadership clique of COSATU.  So insecure and over-sensitive are the political leaders of the SACP that any challenge to the orthodoxy they defend is considered dangerous, counter-revolutionary, and in the words of a NEHAWU leader, must be ‘surgically removed’.

We believe that NUMSA has been singled out because of the radical decisions that were taken at its democratic congress last December, including the decision not to call for collective support for the ANC, and because it sought to withdraw support from the Alliance.  The personal, political and organisational attacks that followed from senior ANC and SACP leaders were vicious. To say this was uncomradely behaviour is an understatement. The SACP, which is currently in debt to the Federation for its rent, was financially and organisationally dependent on Unions like NUMSA for decades as was the ANC needing the Federation and its affiliates when elections are called. The fact is that there was a section of the leadership in COSATU who not only allowed these public attacks to go unchallenged, but who were also prepared to carry out same or similar attacks, to expel NUMSA and to marginalise Comrade Vavi. If evidence was needed to prove how far the COSATU CEC has strayed from being an accountable, worker controlled and independent structure of the federation, then this must be it. 

COSATU Undermining Its Own Constitution Time and Again

Over the last two years there have been a series of constitutional blunders by this faction of COSATU, which have cost a fortune in legal fees through misguided attempts to defend the indefensible. One classic example was the suspension of General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and the absolute waste of financial resources this involved. Not only did it lead to a massive legal bill paid for by members subscriptions, but also a virtual shutdown of COSATU campaigns, and left the Federation without a credible leader capable of addressing the needs of the working class.

Without credible COSATU leadership, the ANC Government was able to disregard our demands to ban labour brokers, to place moratorium on e-tolls or the youth subsidy, and many other matters. Our objections to legislation to increase state secrecy, or measures to tackle corruption at all levels, including defending the Office of the Public Protector have been largely unheeded.  Addressing the disaster of unemployment and inequality through a radical economic programme has failed to materialise. Instead we have a neo-liberal NDP. 

This is one reason why the coalition of Nine Unions was established, to fight for a leadership of COSATU that implemented COSATU decisions.  What we are witnessing is an attempt to neutralise COSATU, and turn it into a subservient or uncritical formation at best. 

The Demand for a Special National Congress

One of the worst examples of unconstitutional behaviour has been the blatant refusal of the President of COSATU to call a Special National Congress, despite a clear responsibility to do so. It is now abundantly clear that the attacks on NUMSA were aimed at undermining the campaign for a Special National Congress, and to try and curtail the clamour of hundreds of thousands of workers who want to see a revitalised COSATU capable of defending their interests.

Instead of responding to the crisis in our society, where millions go to bed on an empty stomach every night, and where hundreds of thousands of young people have no prospects of any type of job, never mind decent work, we now have a factional Federation leadership that sees the enemy within its own ranks.  Instead of taking our campaigns to where power and wealth actually reside, to where workers continue to be super-exploited, the current leadership decides instead to split the Federation.

We Will Not Allow Our Federation to be Stolen From the Working Class

We reiterate that there is a deep treble-crisis of unemployment, poverty and inequality in our country, yet the faction in COSATU only wants to listen to a ‘good story’. 

Despite the attacks on NUMSA, and the attacks that are likely to follow on Comrade Zwelinzima and on other Unions are not prepared to allow the paralysis to continue, we have resolved to accelerate our campaign to transform and reclaim COSATU through the following measures:

·         With immediate effect we are suspending our participation and cooperation in COSATU board room/palace politics,

·         We are urgently calling our NEC/CECs to discuss the crisis in COSATU and to reaffirm our mandates. 

·         We are renewing our calls for a Special National Congress, believing it to be the only way of dealing with the degeneration of the federation, and to ensure that COSATU once again becomes the militant, independent and worker controlled federation capable of campaigning for an end to class oppression and a socialist South Africa. 

·         To ensure a Special National Congress will take place, we will pursue a mass program in every corner of this country to mobilise workers to demand that it take place without delay, and we will also pursue it in the Courts.

·         We will be supporting our comrades in NUMSA and campaigning for a reversal of their unconstitutional expulsion at the last CEC. There can be no COSATU without NUMSA!

·         We will be vigilant and guard against any further victimisations of those prepared to campaign for a progressive agenda, including offering the hand of support to those who are being attacked within their own unions for supporting this program.

·         We refuse to accept that the crisis we are in demands that we behave in a ‘business as usual’ manner. We intend to seize every opportunity to defend and save COSATU from those wanting to destroy it.

For more details of the programme of action of the Unions signing this Press Statement, please contact the General Secretary of the Union Concerned, or Comrade Katishi Masemola, the General Secretary of FAWU on 0824672509