Political cost for Zuma if he addresses Workers' Day rally - labour analyst

Confirmation on Wednesday night that Cosatu’s biggest union the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has written to the federation’s head office asking that President Jacob Zuma not address Cosatu’s Workers' Day rally.

Nehawu have referred to the federation’s call for Zuma to step down and say as a result if he were to address the rally on Monday in Bloemfontein, it would send confusing messages.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has also written to Cosatu, saying Zuma should not be allowed to address the event.

READ: Cosatu unions give Zuma the brush off on Workers' Day

Stephen Grootes spoke briefly to both Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini and its general secretary Bheki Ntshalitshali who have refused to comment on this issue and insist it’s an internal matter.

Labour analyst, Gavin Brown shared his views on the matter.

It’s clear that the anti-Zuma forces in Cosatu are feeling confident enough to throw their weight around.

Gavin Brown, Labour analyst

My expectation is that he will withdraw with some dignity as he has done on the occasion of recent political funerals for example.

Gavin Brown, Labour analyst

I think the political risk of going there is just too great.

Gavin Brown, Labour analyst

After NUM, Nehwau is probably together with Sadtu, the biggest unionised part of the Free Sate’s workforce and the part whose organisation really decides voter turnout and to a large extent voter preferences.

Gavin Brown, Labour analyst

So I think there is more at stake here than just Zuma’s possible humiliation.

Gavin Brown, Labour analyst

Click on the link below to listen to the full interview....

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