8 Cosatu-affiliated unions to fight for Numsa in court

Eight unions will today go to court to demand Cosatu ensure Numsa is part of a special national congress.

FILE. Cosatu House in the Johannesburg CBD. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Eight trade unions aligned to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) say they will go to court today to demand a special national congress to ensure the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is part of the gathering, and return control of the federation to workers.

They will today ask the court to compel Cosatu's president to convene the congress, which would elect new leaders and debate the trade union federation's role in the alliance.

The Food and Allied Workers Union's General Secretary Katishi Masemola says today's court challenge is to show workers that Cosatu's current leaders have been ignoring their constitution since 2013.

"You've got no space internally, to ensure that they respect the constitution. All that you've got is to go to the option of the courts."

The South Africa State and allied Workers Union's National Treasurer Sibusiso Kekana says the trade union federation's president does not intend calling a special congress, and unions have not been informed.

"We do not believe that there'll be a special national congress. There's not been a notice to any union. As recent as last week, we received an agenda for the May CEC. They're discussing the preparations."

The unions say if the congress goes ahead without Numsa they will not partake in it and will continue to boycott Cosatu's Central Executive Committee meetings.