Resolutions of the joint meeting of Cosatu affiliates held on Saturday 24 November 2014


As unions affiliated to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), we gathered in a historic Joint Meeting of our National Executive Committees (NEC’s) on Saturday 22nd November 2014 to consider the crises and paralyses within Cosatu which has set in over the last 2 years since the September 2012 11th Cosatu National Congress and the March 2013 Cosatu Collective Bargaining, Organising and Campaigns Conference.
We also convened the Joint NEC’s Meeting of affiliates to examine and assess the real reasons for Numsa’s expulsion from Cosatu. Broadly the aims and objectives of the Joint NEC’s Meeting of affiliates related to the following key areas;

  • To deepen an understanding of the crises that is facing Cosatu and its Affiliates
  • To share the  mandates of each of the participating NEC’s to build synergy and work towards a united position of the working class
  • To agree on a Plan of Action on how to reclaim Cosatu as an independent, democratic, worker controlled, militant, anti-imperialist and socialist oriented labour federation.

Necessarily, the discussions of the Joint NEC’s Meeting of our affiliates were preceded by presentations with respect to the following critical assessment;

  • Cosatu from birth to Now
  • Roots of the current crises
  • The 2 scenarios confronting Cosatu with respect to how the federation becomes an independent, democratic, worker controlled militant, anti-imperialist and socialist oriented labour federation or cease to exist given the attempts to turn Cosatu into a conveyor belt and labour desk for the ANC led Alliance
  • How We Seize the Moment  on Recapturing Cosatu  from those wanting to make it a lame-duck and toothless federation

Key Resolutions of the Joint NEC’s Meeting of our affiliates:
1. Gathered in the Joint NEC’s meeting of our affiliates held on Saturday 22nd November 2014, and who originally called for the convening of a Cosatu Special National Congress, we are of the firm conviction that there can be no Cosatu without Numsa and no Unity in Cosatu without Numsa. All affiliates therefore unanimously agreed that Numsa must be unconditionally reinstated by the Cosatu Central Executive Committee.
2. There has been much talk in the media about the decision of the Special CEC meeting of 19th November 2014 wherein, apparently;
2.1 The ANC Task Team must be allowed to assist in the finding of a political solution for the crises in Cosatu;
2.2 Informal talks within and amongst the CEC, notably without the expelled Numsa, must be allowed to find a political solution for the crises in Cosatu;
2.3 Putting on hold the “so-called disciplinary charges against the Cosatu General Secretary” to allow for a political solution on the crises in Cosatu;
The Joint NEC’s meeting of our affiliates agreed that any engagement to restore the unity and cohesion of the Federation must be done and undertaken with Numsa having been reinstated unconditionally. Therefore we have resolved that we shall not partake in any discussion, formal or informal, without NUMSA being reinstated into COSATU.
3. The Joint NEC’s meeting of our affiliates support Numsa’s decision that it would appeal its expulsion within 30 days as per the Cosatu Constitution.
4. The Joint NEC’s meeting of our affiliates resolved that the Cosatu SNC must be convened as early as January 2015 and by no later than March 2014 on the clear understanding that Numsa has been reinstated unconditionally. The agenda of the Cosatu Special National Congress (SNC) is as per the letters we send to COSATU almost a year ago, being ;
4.1 Failure to implement the Cosatu 2012 11th National Congress Resolutions
4.2 Failure to implement the Cosatu March 2013 Collective Bargaining, Organising and Campaigns resolutions
4.3 Election of New Office Bearers committed to COSATU Resolutions and Campaigns
5. We also resolved that the continued occupation of Zingiswa Losi of the position of 2nd Deputy President is unconstitutional and the Special CEC of Cosatu that suggests that Losi may occupy the position of 2nd Deputy President is therefore rejected with the contempt it deserves, and we will take this unconstitutionality to court.
6. Our affiliates also supports the processes of litigation and agreed that it must proceed at three levels (a) Challenging the unlawful and unconstitutional expulsion of Numsa and (b) Demanding the convening of the SNC as requisitioned by the 9 Affiliates in terms of the Cosatu Constitution. (c) Challenging the unconstitutional occupation of the position of 2nd Deputy President of Cosatu by Zingiswa Losi.
7. The Joint NEC meeting stands in defence of the integrity and credibility of the office the Cosatu General Secretary. The NOB collective of our affiliates shall interact with the Cosatu General Secretary to deal with all and/or any misconceptions that may have arisen since his 2 page letter decrying Numsa’s expulsion and the subsequent Cosatu NOB press conference held on 20 November 2014.
8. The Joint NEC meeting resolved that our demands, as listed, shall be taken to all our members and workers in this country at large to mobilise the working class around the issues we regard as central to reclaiming Cosatu as an independent, democratic, worker controlled militant, anti-imperialist and socialist oriented labour federation. Our mobilization campaign, since we started shall continue unhindered
9. We further resolved to highlight the plight of dismissed, expelled and suspended Comrades from SAMWU. The SAMWU NOBs must be called to order for vandalizing and violating the SAMWU Constitution. In order to resolve SAMWU crises we demand that a Special SAMWU CEC inclusive of comrades who were victimized must be convened. We further agreed that a properly and constitutionally constituted SAMWU should be an integral part of the Cosatu Special National Congress (SNC). We are also of the firm view that the Cosatu NOB’s must engage the purged Comrades who constituted the Save Our Samwu Campaign (SOS).
10. In the same breath we also highlight the plight of the continued purges in SADTU and other affiliates. The purges in SADTU are all related to the challenges in COSATU.
11. The meeting noted the unconstitionality of the CEPPWAWU General Secretary, Mr Mofiokeng, a labour broker who refuses to hold constitutional meetings in his union.
Yet the CEPPWAWU GS sees fit to speak, move second and vote for motions in the COSATU CEC for the suspension of the COSATU General Secretary and the appointment of the 2nd Deputy President.
12. The Joint NEC meeting resolved that we shall act in defence of all the Comrades in the different Cosatu affiliated unions who have been unfairly and unconstitutionally purged through unprocedural/unlawful/unconstitutional suspensions, expulsions and dismissals.
13. We agreed to convene a National Summit of Public Sector Unions to talk about the organisation of public sector unions in South Africa and better understand the political economy of the state wherein public sector unions operate. In all likelihood this summit shall expose the political and ideological bankruptcy of the South African Communist Party’s outlook on the role of public sector workers in the current conjuncture. We also caution the Minister of Finance not to conduct public sector negotiations through public platforms as he did during the budget speech.
14. The Joint NEC meeting resolved very firmly that the unity and cohesion of private and public sector workers cannot be cosmetic but must be premised on the class contradictions in this capitalist society where corruption, poverty, unemployment and inequality holds supreme, as was exposed by the reports of the Public Protector on Nkandla for example.
15. The Joint NEC meeting agreed that Cosatu has failed to champion and coordinate worker struggles, in particular the struggle for A LIVING WAGE, with due regard to the most recent examples;
• The living wage struggle of Rock Drill Operators
• The 2014 CWU 3 month old postal workers living struggle
• The 2014 Numsa engineering workers struggle for a living wage
This is but to mention a few examples of Cosatu’s impotence.
We reflected  on the postal office strike and have deemed our government to have failed those workers in the sense that when SAA, which flies the elites is in trouble they get easily bailed out, yet not the same for post office, which serves a majority black and rural part of our population
16. We are of the firm view that the Cosatu President together (with some of his National Office Bearers) acted on behalf of their faction to the detriment of the unity of the Federation. We are of the firm view that the Cosatu President, as head of the Federation, must resign with immediate effect because he no longer enjoy the confidence of workers in private sector of the South African economy and the public sector.
17. We are aware that state intelligence agencies have been mandated and unleashed to target progressive forces within Cosatu affiliated unions and in broader society who are in disagreement with what is happening in the ANC, SACP and COSATU. Whereas we are not scared by this reality which has been engineered under Apartheid and the Democratic government, we warn South African society that there is a dedicated project to weaken the democratic voice of unions and formations in civil society with a view to silence us including killing of any dissent both physically and otherwise. We shall take steps to point out such shenanigans and ill intended plans.
We are aware that our rank and file (membership) have already drawn a line in the sand with respect to moving on from Cosatu to a new independent, worker controlled and democratic  Federation, however the leadership as represented in the Joint NEC’s of the  Affiliates is of the view that we have a historic mission to reclaim Cosatu. Nothing stops us all to consider alternatives if required to do so.
Moleko Phakedi, FAWU Deputy General Secretary, 082 492 5111