25 February 2014

South Africa: The Coming Cosatu Quake - What Will the Political Richter Scale Register?


While most of the country is poring over recently published election manifestos, and pondering the different visions for the future of us all that they spell out, a political earthquake of possibly bigger significance is beginning to gather momentum.

As you read this, Cosatu's Central Executive Committee is engaged in one of its traditional three-day meetings, but this one could culminate in a vote that sees metalworkers' union NUMSA being suspended, or even expelled.

Should that happen, only a fool would think that NUMSA would be the only union to go. Which means that the entire playing field between unions, employers, and government is about to change. With AMCU sitting in the wings..

On the first floor of Cosatu House, in a room that is best described as "un-shabby", the leaders of the various unions that make up the federation are currently embroiled in yet another meeting.

The context to this is that at their last meeting, NUMSA and the eight unions that support it were absent, resulting in only NUMSA's opponents voting on a resolution. That resolution was for Cosatu to formally write to NUMSA, and ask why it should not be "suspended or expelled" for ...

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