Union federation planned, says Vavi
Durban - Former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has promised a game-changer in the South African labour movement.
Speaking yesterday at a dialogue event in East London organised by a local newspaper, Vavi said a new union federation, which would include breakaway union, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), would be launched on Workers’ Day.
“We will make an announcement next week,” Vavi said.
He said he had already held talks at least three times with Amcu.
“They are firmly on board. What motivates us is that Amcu represents about 60% of workers in the mining industry,” said Vavi.
Though he said every sector was welcomed at the soon-to-be-launched federation, he told the audience that workers in the mining and metal industry would swell the ranks of the new federation.
“I have not been sleeping well, working hard and thinking about strategies for the new federation,” Vavi said.
Amcu was formed as a breakaway faction of the Cosatu-affiliated National Union of Mineworkers, the once dominant union in the sector.
Amcu came to wider attention during the platinum belt strikes that culminated in the 2012 Marikana massacre.
Taking a swipe at challenges facing the ruling party, Vavi said the ANC problems “cannot be solely” blamed on one individual.
“What is the leadership of the ANC saying about those problems?
“What is the PEC (provincial executive committee) of the ANC in the Eastern Cape saying about problems facing their party?” asked Vavi.