Numsa to fight its expulsion from Cosatu

Numsa says if its challenge fails, it will look elsewhere to ensure workers are protected.

Numsa's Irvin Jim at the press briefing about the union's expulsion from Cosatu, on 9 November 2014. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) general secretary Irvin Jim says the union will challenge its expulsion from Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

If it fails, it will look elsewhere to ensure workers are protected.

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

Two weeks ago Cosatu voted to expel Numsa, a move both welcomed and criticised from within the movement.

Jim says it is in the interests of all workers that Numsa remain part of Cosatu.

"We remain resolute, that we're going to fight for unity of workers because this federation belongs to workers, not individuals."

He slammed South African Communist Party leader Blade Nzimande for his comments over the weekend.

"Who could have ever thought that a communist party, that regards itself as the vanguard when a big federation of workers is splitting, decides to be factional?"

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

NUMSA EXPULSION 'A SHAM'

The process used by Cosatu to expel Numsa from the federation is a sham, Jim said on Monday.

He said 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."

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.