Special Workers' Day discussion: The future of worker federations

Stephen Grootes is joined today by Labour columnist, Terry Bell and independent labour analyst Gavin Brown for a special Workers' Day discussion on issues that effect workers in South Africa.

It never was that stable. there was always this inherent contradiction. If we go back to 1993, it was Numsa who put forward at the Cosatu Congress, the resolution, that should the ANC become, as seemed inevitable, the next government, Cosatu should then leave the Alliance, because the government then being the biggest employer, then it meant Cosatu was essentially in bed with an employer and it would not do. They lost the vote, and then loyally toed the line.

Terry Bell, Labour Columnist

Cosatu also went along with Gear after 1996 which, says Bell, was another contradiction.

He says many of these now moving into other alliances disgruntled Cosatu people.

Grootes asked Gavin Brown if he agrees with this view that politics is the root cause of the current divisions in the labour movement?

I think yes absolutely. We've seen it over the past ten years, a characteristic of the Zuma administration. The instability was really introduced when people and power blocks within the movement had to choose sides.

Gavin Brown, Independent Labour Analyst

Brown says this administration has been very intolerant of criticism.

Mr Vavi in particular, the voice of the most powerful federation at that time, wasn't slow in coming forward with criticism

Gavin Brown, Independent Labour Analyst

On the other hand, says Brown, trade union federations come and go all the time in the course of the grand sweep of history.

They are just a reflection of the current economic circumstances, the affiliations to power in government at the time, and the high water mark of Cosatu in particular, and the labour movement in general, has gone now. And I think it will be a number of years before we see another monolithic federation such as Cosatu has been.

Gavin Brown, Independent Labour Analyst

This article first appeared on 702 : Special Workers' Day discussion: The future of worker federations


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Wits Nehawu members down tools over salaries

Wits Nehawu members down tools over salaries

Nehawu Wits acting secretary Tumisho Madihlaba says negotiations with management deadlocked resulting in a strike.

Former Eskom interim CEO Sean Maritz under fire for signing off R400 mil payment

Former Eskom interim CEO Sean Maritz under fire for signing off R400 mil payment

‘Documents show that the fee contract was entered into by Anoj Singh & signed off by the acting CEO Sean Maritz' - Chris Yelland

‘Qedani Mahlangu helped people die then she ran away’ – Stephen Grootes

‘Qedani Mahlangu helped people die then she ran away’ – Stephen Grootes

Stephan Grootes shares his views on the events that unfolded at Life Esidimini and comments on Qedani Mahlangu’s apology.

Metrorail train derails due to vandalism on the central line

Metrorail train derails due to vandalism on the central line

The Central line was set to resume services on Thursday but has been postponed due to vandalism at Heideveld and Netreg stations.

Hawks Mulaudzi neither confirms or denies reports about possible Guptas arrests

Hawks Mulaudzi neither confirms or denies reports about possible Guptas arrests

Hawks spokesperson confirmed working closely with the NPA but cannot disclose cases it is working on until people are charged.

AfriForum: H&M advert was not racist

AfriForum: H&M advert was not racist

AfriForum says it has laid criminal charges against the EFF's Malema, Ndlozi and Shivambu for incitement to commit violent crimes.

Popular articles
[LISTEN]Tempers flare as Eusebius grills SABC's Maroleng about hiring and firing

[LISTEN]Tempers flare as Eusebius grills SABC's Maroleng about hiring and firing

Embattled public broadcaster's new COO, Chris Maroleng tries to defend SABC about Sakina Kamwendo incident.

'White South Africans learning an African language would show respect'

'White South Africans learning an African language would show respect'

A video of a white man speaking fluent TshiVenda went viral, but languages expert Dr Dowling says most black people speak English.

Water to be released from Berg River to Misverstand Dam to avoid Day Zero

Water to be released from Berg River to Misverstand Dam to avoid Day Zero

Government has put plans in place to prevent the Misverstand Dam from running dry in a week's time.

What Hashim Amla's fascinating story illuminates about South African society

What Hashim Amla's fascinating story illuminates about South African society

Writer Niren Tolsi says SA cricketer Hashim Amla is the living embodiment of a nation trying to express itself while healing.

Highly-criticised world athletics body's rule could end Caster Semenya's career

Highly-criticised world athletics body's rule could end Caster Semenya's career

She faces ongoing complaints from rivals about having an "unfair advantage" on the track, but how fair is this proposed IAAF rule?

Cape plumber designs device to ensure geyser water doesn't go down the drain

Cape plumber designs device to ensure geyser water doesn't go down the drain

Wattapac is a water-saving bladder and pump designed to help plumbers save as much as 1 000 litres of water a day.

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Bruce Whitfield interviews La Grange about her and Madiba's attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.)