Today's Labour News

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cosatuThe Star reports that Cosatu has lost more than 317,000 members in the past three years and its affiliates are defying the organisation’s leadership in the face of deep internal fights over money for subscriptions.  

The labour federation’s political and organisational reports for its upcoming congress show its membership continued to decline after the expulsion of its biggest affiliate, Numsa.  According to the organisational report, Cosatu has haemorrhaged 317,463 members since 2015 - a number that is more than the total membership of its current biggest affiliate, Nehawu, which has 275,083 members.  The federation’s membership sharply dropped from 1,923,436 in 2015 to 1,605,973 this year, a 16.5% decline.  The SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) has suffered a 53.4% drop in membership, from 218014 in 2015 to 101458 this year - the biggest loss by a Cosatu affiliate.  And, the organisation continues to be confronted by declining membership, particularly in respect of industrial unions such as the National Union Mineworkers.  “We now have a challenge of unions with membership under 20,000 and experience has taught us that such a union cannot be sustained,” the report notes.  Cosatu woes are undermining its capacity to act in a unified way, despite interventions that gave it more authority over its affiliates.  “Because of its lack of capacity, and the weak link between affiliates and its centre, Cosatu as a federation is unable to support, in a consistent way, an affiliate which is weak or is experiencing internal problems,” the report indicates.

  • Read this report by Siviwe Feketha in full at IOL News

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