Today's Labour News

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cosatuCity Press reports that labour federation Cosatu has continued to bleed members and cannot get a handle on major affiliated unions that have become embarrassingly dysfunctional.  

A frank organisational report, tabled for the federation’s national congress taking place this week, shows that membership of Cosatu unions has fallen to 1.6 million this year – down from 2.2 million in 2013.  In just the past year, membership fell 6%, the report indicates.  Even these figures are likely to be overstated as at least one major affiliate – Ceppwawu – has provided highly questionable figures.  The lost members are largely from industrial unions, further transforming Cosatu into a predominantly public sector federation.  If the latest numbers are to be believed, Cosatu is now 58% comprised of civil servants.  Three unions are identified as problems in the organisational report: chemical union Ceppwawu, transport union Satawu and municipal union Samwu.  “All these unions have common challenges, which include fighting for access to resources in the investment companies, financial mismanagement, unconstitutional suspensions and dismissals of comrades,” reads the report.  Samwu is the only Cosatu union not in good standing because of unpaid affiliation fees.  But, a number of the federation’s affiliates are said to be simply too small to sustain themselves.  On the political front, Cosatu’s leadership is starting to imagine a future where its alliance partner, the ANC, fails to win 50% of the vote in the upcoming national election.  

Read this informative report by Dewald van Rensburg and Jan De Lange in full at Fin24

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