Numsa explores new labour federation

Johannesburg - The National Union of Metalworkers of SA is exploring the formation of a new labour federation, deputy general secretary Karl Cloete said on Thursday.

“If all fails, we would establish a new independent labour federation. We would talk to other federations, such as the National Council of Trade Unions, the Federation of Unions of SA, and other independent registered trade unions,” he said in Johannesburg.

National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) members demonstrate during a march for jobs in Johannesburg. Ulimenemene Jacob Zuma (President Jacob Zuma, you are two faced), they sang. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA. Credit: SAPA

“This not what Karl Cloete is saying, this is a Numsa resolution.”

Cloete was briefing reporters about the union's four-day central executive committee meeting that ended in Benoni on the East Rand on Thursday.

Delegates sang struggle songs attacking Congress of SA Trade Unions president S’dumo Dlamini. Numsa is a Cosatu affiliate.

“Psychologically... S’dumo uyagula kancane... (S’dumo is not well psychologically),” they sang.

Dlamini was accused of ripping the labour federation apart.

Cloete said Zingiswa Losi, a Numsa shop steward who was suspended by the union for bringing it into disrepute, should not have been appointed by Cosatu as second deputy president.

“Losi is not entitled to become a Cosatu office bearer according to the federation's constitution,” Cloete said.

Numsa recently backed Cosatu's general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and went to court to have his suspension by the labour federation lifted.

Numsa secretary general Irvin Jim said the union resolved to form a political party for workers.

“The working class needs its own political party... the working class is leaderless.”

For now the party would be referred to as the United Front, and its name finalised next year, he said.