Irvin Jim hits back at Cosatu leaders over expulsion

Numsa's Irvin Jim, says its expulsion is the result of corrupt leaders who are serving their own interests.

Numsa's Irvin Jim at the press briefing about the union's expulsion from Cosatu, on 09 November 2014. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa)'s general secretary Irvin Jim, says the expulsion of the trade union from Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), is the result of corrupt leaders who are serving their own interests instead of the interests of the working class.

Jim was speaking at a media briefing at Numsa's head office in Johannesburg.

The 349,000 member strong union was expelled from Cosatu in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The metalworkers union was expelled by a vote of 33 to 24 after months of infighting and a widening rift between the union and Cosatu bosses.

But Jim says the expulsion was not constitutiona l and the organisation will challenge it in court.

"Cosatu's decision to expel Numsa was a well-coordinated reactionary attack on the organisation of workers, an attack on Cosatu and an attack on the poor."

The general secretary says the real reason for Numsa's expulsion is a result of leaders serving their own political interests.

"We have to give them credit for is that they managed to achieve what the apartheid government failed to do, which was to destroy the federation which has been a boat, shield and spear in the hands of workers and the consciousness of the nation."

Yesterday Numsa said no amount of logical argument could convince affiliates not to expel it from Cosatu.

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

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

Jim added that the union is determined to fight its expulsion in court.