The Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union (YNITU) has thrown its weight behind the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa). The union, which advocates for the rights of health workers and nurses, says it will not stand by while Numsa is being vilified and attacked.
This comes as Numsa is being accused of suspending more than 30 of its members, including its former second deputy president, Ruth Ntlokotse, who recency took Numsa to court over her suspension and that of other members.
The statement by YNITU also coincides with negative media coverage against some of the union's top leaders, who are accused of stifling democratic processes within the trade union.
Last week, Numsa's national congress was delayed by two days following a court ruling which had interdicted Numsa from holding its congress and for failing to comply with its own constitution. The congress was eventually held after a delay of two days following the court ruling by labour court Judge Graham Moshoana, who ruled in favour of Ntlokotse. This resulted in her suspension and that of other members being lifted as part of a central committee meeting's recommendation to lift the suspension and thus allow the congress to continue.
YNITU says it is disturbed by the recent attacks on Numsa in a statement issued by its general secretary, Lerato Mthunzi, on Friday.
"YNITU is exasperated by these deliberate attempts to derail and distract Numsa in continuing its sterling work of saving jobs, fighting for better conditions for workers and ensuring workers get fair salary deals and benefits," Mthunzi says.
Mthunzi adds that the same tactics used to silence and distract Numsa were used against the Social and Revolutionary Workers Party (SWRP) during its early stages.
"We loath that the same mechanisms unleashed to sabotage SWRP in its infancy are again being used to divide and conquer Numsa. We have watched with great concern other unions being infiltrated and destroyed, but we have no doubt that Numsa, will demonstrate decisive leadership and do all in its powers to defend democratic leadership, organisational discipline, worker control and its 11th national congress, "Mthunzi added.
The union further says it trusts in the leadership of Numsa and its commitment to defending the rights of workers, which Numsa has done for over 30 years.