CWU drops support for Numsa-allies within Cosatu

This means its members will not take part in any of the campaigns planned by the group.


JOHANNESBURG - The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has withdrawn its support for seven other Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) affiliates that have lost confidence in the federation's leadership after National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa)'s expulsion.

The CWU says this means its members will not take part in any of the campaigns planned by the so-called group of nine.

Over the past two years the CWU has backed the Cosatu unions calling for Numsa's return and the election of new leaders, leading to tensions with the federation's national office bearers.

The CWU says its national executive committee met the night before Cosatu's special national congress.

General Secretary Aubrey Tshabala says they resolved to end the boycott of executive meetings.

"CWU will not be part of the nine unions in terms of the programmes, there are programmes intended to unfold. But we stand firm on the position that we are calling for the reinstatement of Numsa and Zwelinzima Vavi at the national congress because we have reached a consensus."

Last week, Cosatu President S'dumo Dlamini said all of the federation's concerns around building unity while unions remained divided on loyalty had been expressed in the declaration at its special national congress.

The meeting wrapped up in Midrand after two days of intense debates about whether the Numsa and Vavi should return, and if other unions are guilty of poaching each other's members.

In the end, unions overwhelmingly voted to restrict Numsa and Vavi's appeal to an ordinary congress in November.

Dlamini said they want to build unity in the federation's lower structures.

"It was not straitjacketing people to raise other issues of concern about unity and cohesion of the federation. You find them expressed very clearly in the declaration. We are making a point, there can be no unity that will be superficial."

WATCH:_ The battle to save Cosatu_

The congress wrapped up with a declaration being adopted after concerns about utterances on leadership.