Today's Labour News

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SaftuCity Press writes that the one-and-a-half-year-old SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has already run into many of the organisational problems hobbling its larger rival Cosatu.  

It has fallen dramatically short of its recruitment targets and faces a crisis of non-payment of fees by affiliated unions, according to a report on the state of the federation prepared for a special central committee meeting held last week.  Some affiliates are already on their way to being expelled and the majority of affiliates are so small that they have little prospect of survival.  The main reason for this week’s meeting was to address problems with Saftu’s constitution, which was adopted last year with a number of impractical and contradictory clauses about how the organisation should be run.  The report indicated that “these clauses cause organisational paralysis”.  Saftu is led by former Cosatu general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and dominated by former Cosatu unions that left or were expelled.  While the federation has 30 affiliates, the vast majority have fewer than 10,000 members, some with as few as 260 members.  Saftu consists mostly of the 328,827-strong National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), which makes up 45% of all its members, and the 128,466-strong Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu), which makes up another 18%.  The report says Saftu has failed dismally to achieve its ambitious recruitment targets when it launched in April last year.

  • Read this report by Dewald van Rensburg in full at News24

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