NUMSA’s response to vitriolic statement by COSATU public sector Union – NEHAWU and POPCRU

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) notes the vitriolic statements issued by COSATU’s public sector unions, the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) and Police Prisons and Civil Rights Unions (Popcru), in relation to the forthcoming Workers Summit to be held next month October 2015.
Nehawu and Popcru’s attacks are a reaction to the ground breaking successes we continue to score in all corners of our country, from factory-to-factory; garage-to-garage; post office-to-post-office; hospital-to-hospital; police station-to-police station. All the workers we meet daily on the ground are agreeing that the State has succeeded in capturing and redirecting Cosatu and turning it into a mere instrument catch electoral votes of the workers and the poor every after 5 years.
Cosatu has absolutely no fighting programme to deal with mass scale of retrenchments in the mines, steel and engineering sectors, and mass suffering and daily struggles of our people amidst the triple crisis of poverty, unemployment and inequality, faced by the working class post-the-1994 negotiated political settlement.
Nehawu makes a malicious and false claim that “comrade Zwelinzima Vavi and Numsa are continuing with their foreign-funded political adventure to undermine workers federation Cosatu”. This tirade by Nehawu is not new; it is an old paranoia shared by SACP’s Blade Nzimande and S’dumo Dlamini in order for Numsa and Cde Vavi to be isolated from their core constituency – the workers and the poor. Unfortunately, this repeated lie or paranoia continues to be dismissed by sober-minded, politically clear and conscious workers on the ground.
Both Nehawu and Popcru should be made aware that Numsa has a right to meet with any trade union in South Africa that is committed to building a strong, militant, class orientated, anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist, worker-controlled, democratic, and socialist Trade Union Federation of Workers and to the struggle for Socialism.
It is in this context that Numsa with other like-minded trade unions is are busy coordinating a Workers Summit (WS), scheduled for October 2015, to re-look and diagnose the deep-seated organisational challenges: ideological paralysis, rampant corruption that has led to the implosion of the progressive trade union movement in South Africa.
The money used to fund the Workers Summit is directly from the pockets of workers, who have always funded their own programmes, since the days of Apartheid up until today. And if our sister unions and allies, are willing to assist and fund this work, nothing stops them from funding us.
Furthermore, we are conscious of the fact that 70% of workers employed in South African economy are not unionized and that Cosatu’s buried resolution of One Country – One Federation has not and shall not be realised in Cosatu’s current form and Alliance with ANC and SACP.
The Workers Summit is open to all trade unions that are committed to our long standing goals of “One Country, One Federation”, alive to new industrial realities, given the reorganization of capital at the point of production as its pursues profit maximisation.
Numsa’s appeal to be re-admitted back to Cosatu’s fold is no longer in the hands of the Federation; the matter now resides in the hands of our unflinching and unshaken 365 000 members. Our National Executive Committee (NEC) that met on 21-23 July 2015 made a clear determination that “the time has arrived to start with the building blocks of forming a new independent, democratic, worker controlled, militant and anti-imperialist trade union federation”.
In relation to the Cosatu’s Special National Congress (SNC) held on 13-14 July 2015, it should be mentioned that it a was a farce and the Federation was rebranded and born anew as a blunt instrument in the pockets of politicians and factions within the ANC-led Alliance. Its intended outcomes, as correctly called by the 9+ unions were never achieved, hence the Federation continues to score own goals on all fronts, whilst workers are yearning for services.
Castro Ngobese
National Spokesperson
Mobile: 083 627 5197
Tel (dir): 011 689 1702
Twitter: @castrongobese