This edition comes few weeks after Cosatu’s national congress. Many South Africans, leaders of the alliance and opinion-makers, had great expectations of the decisions that this congress will take in terms of policy proposals for the country, our economy and politics, and the transformation of our workplaces.
This congress came at a time when when the struggle for workers' had reached its peak. We are besieged by the capitalist bosses who are out to strong-arm trade unions so that they are projected to their members as weak and indecisive.
The bosses pursue this by outclassing negotiators in bargaining chambers; they sponsor the demobilisation of strikes and they strengthen labour brokers.
The strong lobby for the reform of labour laws in favour of capital, especially the Labour Relations Act; the mobilisation around the youth wage subsidy – a government proposal popularised by the DA using tactics including marching against Cosatu and government; the government’s failure to ban labour brokers in favour of the bourgeois lobby for regulation; and the open defiance of employers of employment equity targets – all of these constitute a brazen class offensive against workers on which Cosatu had reflected on during the congress.
Cosatu congress was filled with frank and cogent engagements, honest assessment of ourselves organisationally and politically, and the emergence of a clear-cut programme arising out of a resolve to take us forward.
The distraction of leadership choices was discouraged as Cosatu has bigger challenges to confront.