Jim: Numsa expulsion a 'sham'

Irvin Jim said the decision to expel the union was due to individual agendas.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa)'s general secretary Irvin Jim at a press conference in Newtown Johannesburg on 09 November 2014 following the union's expulsion from trade union federation Cosatu. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The process used by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) to expel the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) from the federation is a sham, the union's secretary general Irvin Jim said on Monday.

He vowed to fight the decision by Cosatu to ensure workers remained united.

Numsa was voted out of Cosatu by 33 votes to 24 last weekend.

The decision exposed the rift between rival affiliates.

Cosatu voted to remove Numsa earlier this month in an action both welcomed and criticised from within the movement.

Jim was speaking at the union's indaba at the Ford Assembly Plant in Silverton on Monday.

He says the decision to expel the metalworkers union from the trade union federation was the result of an agenda being pushed by certain individuals.

"The process we went through can be described as a sham and we were dealing with people with premeditated views."

He told Ford workers that while individuals come and go, organisations remain.

"Cosatu is both a shield and a spear in the hands of workers."

Jim says if all attempts to address the fallout fail, Numsa may seek an alternative federation.

Last week, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi wrote a letter to union leaders in which he said he didn't attend Cosatu's press conference because he cannot defend the decision to expel Numsa.

He said the decision that was taken had the potential to destroy Cosatu.

To read the full letter, click here.

Video: The Cosatu split decoded.