vavi1Greg Nicolson reports that former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on Thursday said plans to establish a new trade union federation were well under way and unions would be meeting within three weeks to choose a launch date.  

A draft constitution has been written, while the name and logo will come soon.  The body’s first campaigns will focus on organising workers in the formal and informal sectors and fighting job losses.  Vavi was speaking at a briefing as the convenor of the steering committee to form the new federation.  What will makes it distinctive, he said, will be that its only political alignment will be to the working class.  While 57 unions have expressed interest in joining the new federation, 31 unions were represented in a meeting on Tuesday to discuss the way forward.  The new federation remains open to other unions and members who want to join.  Thursday's press conference followed a decision by the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) last week to leave Cosatu.

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