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The global economic meltdown, which began in 2008, was still having a devastating effect on the membership and revenue of Cosatu in KwaZulu-Natal with the federation having lost millions in income.
This emerged in various reports tabled at the Cosatu KZN conference which ended in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.
In KZN more than 500 000 jobs were lost, mainly in the textile industry. This had a direct impact on union membership and income.
Concern was expressed at the decline of union membership in the private sector. Only membership in the public sector showed signs of growth.
Delivering his message to the Cosatu KZN congress, SACP provincial secretary Themba Mthembu attributed this to the crisis in the country’s economy brought on by the global economic meltdown.
Presenting his political report to the conference, re-elected Cosatu provincial secretary Zet Luzipo noted that the economic global crisis was persisting.
This was devastating the country.
Luzipo said the country had lost more than 1 million jobs, which impacted negatively on the federation’s membership.
The national Cosatu membership stood at 2 million against the total of more than 10 million employed people in SA.
In his address, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said Cosatu’s membership only represented 29 percent of unionised workers with 71 percent of workers remaining outside unions.
Presenting her report to the conference, KZN Cosatu treasurer Cynthia Joyce said more had to be done to organise members.
She underlined the need for improving the service provided by the unions to its members.
“It is important that affiliates share or draw experiences from one another on expertise, recruitment, servicing and organising,” she said