New metalworkers union registers 10k members

Limusa's establishment is seen as an attempt to replace Numsa within Cosatu.

FILE: Former Numsa president Cedric Gcina. Picture: Numsa.

JOHANNESBURG - The new metalworkers union hoping to take the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa)'s place in the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), says it has already organised close to 10,000 members at 200 companies across the country.

The Liberated Metalworkers Union of South Africa (Limusa) was officially registered with the labour Department.

The union is headed by Numsa's former president Cedric Gcina.

Numsa was voted out of the Cosatu last month by 33 votes to 24 and the decision has since exposed the rift between rival affiliates.

The union's establishment is seen as an attempt to replace Numsa within Cosatu to entice workers sympathetic to the African National Congress (ANC) back to the federation.

Numsa has brushed off Limusa's formation but Gcina says they're making significant progress.

Last week, Cosatu President Sidumo Dlamini said the ANC's intervention to bring about unity within the trade union federation is not at risk of collapse.

This despite seven affiliate unions refusing to participate in the process without the Numsa's expulsion.

The Numsa allies have called for Dlamini to resign.

Dlamini argued that the majority of Cosatu's unions support the ruling party's intervention and disgruntled affiliates should stop talking to journalists and return to the formal process.