International: Cosatu’s visit to the new Mauritius!

Numsa and the International Metalworkers Federation (IMF) have worked tirelessly to merge the metalworkers in Swaziland. During October, Cosatu dispatched a mission to Swaziland to look at the newly merged metal union and other grown ups who have been orphaned by present divisions within the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions.Unfortunate events in Swaziland have led to interdicts and counter interdicts. The division has been caused by allegations of lack of accountability and transparency, a failure to adhere to constitutional provisions as well as financial mismanagement. The SFTU which has led numerous courageous struggles in Swaziland is being weakened by these divisions and a failure by leadership to rise above petty disputes which have no bearing on the workers’ struggle at all. The federation is bleeding affiliates like a gnashing wound on the main vein transporting blood to the heart.The picture is bleak. A few years ago, a split caused the formation of a second federation, the SFL. Concerned workers are now contemplating a third federation in a country of just below 1 million citizens. This will be a disaster and it will further divide workers in Swaziland.Currently, three unions aren’t paying subscriptions to the federation. They say that “paying subscriptions to SFTU is like putting money in a sack that is open underneath.”But Cosatu will return. An amicable solution might be possible. Cosatu hopes to broker a single federation which will unite all the groups and workers under a united worker controlled democratic federation. This is what all the disputing parties and unions outside the SFTU want.