Today's Labour News

newsThis news aggregator site highlights South African labour news from a wide range of internet and print sources. Each posting has a synopsis of the source article, together with a link or reference to the original. Postings cover the range of labour related matters from industrial relations to generalist human resources.

newsGroundUp writes that on Tuesday Cosatu held its main Workers’ Day event in Port Elizabeth and, with President Cyril Ramaphosa scheduled to speak, the pressure was on.  Though Cosatu pulled out all stops to draw the crowds, it only filled three-quarters of the 10,000-capacity stadium. 

 Meanwhile at the nearby SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) rally, there was standing room only.  National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) drove the process that resulted in the formation of Saftu last year, and the union is particularly strong in Port Elizabeth.  Yet, Cosatu’s power has been significantly diminished in recent years.  Ramaphosa’s speech was well received, but when Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini started speaking the crowds began to stream out of the stadium.  SA Communist Party (SACP) secretary general Blade Nzimande spoke against the disunity of the organised working class, saying that “we as the SACP will reach out to other progressive worker formations to say, let’s unite around the things that unite us and not divide ourselves”.  There was a very different tone in Bloemfontein where Saftu held its main May Day rally.  A sea of red flooded the Madiba arena.  Irvin Jim of Numsa lambasted Ramaphosa, a former NUM general secretary, for wanting to strip workers of their constitutional right to strike.  So, judging by the stark differences between the Cosatu event in Port Elizabeth and the Saftu event in Bloemfontein, it seems that Nzimande is unlikely to see the organisational unity among workers he desires.

  • Read this report by Nosipiwo Manona, Nation Nyoka and Magnificent Mndebele in full at GroundUp
  • Read too, Cyril’s labour pains set to last until elections, says analyst, at The Citizen
  • And also, Unions must maintain their independence, says Vavi, at TimesLive

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page