Watershed moment in SA labour politics

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FILE: Numsa secretary Irvin Jim said the leadership of Cosatu was manipulating who could attend a special national congress.

JOHANNESBURG - It’s been a watershed week in South African labour politics.
 
At a special congress in Boksburg, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa resolved to dump the ANC ahead of 2014 elections,  and call for President Jacob Zuma’s immediate resignation.
 
Numsa feels the ruling party has forgotten it, and claims government policies are eroding workers’ rights
 
“The working class – whenever it’s the election – we would tell them you are the driving force of the revolution and you are the motor of this revolution. But when it comes to the assessment of who benefited in the past two decades, basically the working class have secured nothing,” said Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim.
 
Some believe these bold moves are a sign of things to come, and that the metal workers’ union is moving towards establishing a broad-based South African worker’s party.
 
Rank and file Numsa members believe it’s time for change
 
“These frustrations are the frustrations of all workers. We are saying we need to be organised, we need to be united to fight together,” said Numsa member Andile Bloko. 
 
Meanwhile, Cosatu has moved to control the damage.
 
“Well we’ve taken note of the decisions and we will discuss them through our internal structures of which Numsa remains a full part. They remain our affiliate,” said Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven.
 
 

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