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The Congress of South African Trade Unions
Congress of South African Trade Unions
(COSATU) is a trade union federation in South Africa. It was founded in 1985 and is the largest of the country’s three main trade union federations, with 21 affiliated trade unions,[note 1][1] altogether organizing 1.8 million workers.[citation needed]

Contents

1 History 2 Fight against Apartheid 3 Affiliated Trade Unions 4 Expulsion of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa 5 Government 6 Labour and social movements 7 Logo 8 Zimbabwe 9 Current officeholders 10 See also 11 Further reading 12 Notes 13 References 14 External links

History[edit] On 30 Nov 1985, 33 unions met at the University of Natal
University of Natal
for talks on forming a federation of trade unions.[2] This followed four years of unity talks between competing unions and federations that were opposed to apartheid and were "committed to a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa." COSATU was officially established on 1 December 1985.[3][4] Among the founding unions was the Federation of South African Trade Unions (FOSATU).[5] Elijah Barayi was the organisation’s first president and Jay Naidoo the first general secretary.[2] Several resolutions were passed at this first meeting that defined the aim of the federation and how the federation operates, namely:[2]

To establish one union for each industry within six months. To focus on the exploitation of women workers. To call for the lifting of the state of emergency, withdrawal of troops from the townships and release of all political prisoners. To continue the call for international pressure, including disinvestment. To demand for the right to strike and picket. To determine a national minimum wage. To extend the struggle for trade union rights in the homelands.

The COSATU congress decided in 2012 to affiliate with the class-struggle oriented World Federation of Trade Unions, while maintaining its membership within the International Trade Union Confederation. During the 2016 congress that was held in Durban, Michael Mzwandile Makwayiba, president of COSATU affiliate NEHAWU Michael Mzwandile Makwayiba was elected President of the World Federation of Trade Unions. On 5–6 May 1987 a strike as part of COSATU's Living Wage Campaign was held coinciding with 1987 General Election. More than 2.5 million workers took part in the stay-away. On 7 May 1987, in the early hours of the morning two bombs exploded near the support columns in the basement of the federation headquarters, COSATU House. The resulting damage caused the building to be declared unsafe.[2] Fight against Apartheid[edit] At the second national congress held from 14–18 July 1987, the Freedom Charter
Freedom Charter
was adopted by the federation after the resolution was proposed by the National Union of Mineworkers[2] At the third congress held from 12–16 July 1989, a resolution was adopted that called on the members of COSATU to "join a campaign of sustained action against apartheid" in the week leading up to the 1989 General Election of South Africa.[6] On 26 July 1989, Cosatu, the United Democratic Front and the Mass Democratic Movement, instigated the National Defiance Campaign, in which facilities reserved for whites were invaded, and organisation that had been banned by the state declared themselves ‘unbanned’.[2] Affiliated Trade Unions[edit] The following unions are listed by COSATU as their affiliate unions:[7]

Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers' Union (CEPPWAWU) Creative Workers Union of South Africa (CWUSA) National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union
National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union
(NEHAWU) National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union
Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union
(POPCRU) South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union
South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union
(SACCAWU) Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union
Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union
(SACTWU) South African Democratic Nurses' Union (SADNU) South African Democratic Teachers Union
South African Democratic Teachers Union
(SADTU) South African Medical Association (SAMA) South African Municipal Workers' Union (SAMWU) SASBO – The Finance Union South African Security Forces Union (SASFU) South African Transport and Allied Workers Union
South African Transport and Allied Workers Union
(SATAWU)

The following affiliated unions have suspended their participation in COSATU due to the expulsion of the National union of Metalworkers of South Africa.[1]

South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union
South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union
(SACCAWU) Communication Workers Union (CWU) Food and Allied Workers Union
Food and Allied Workers Union
(FAWU) South African State and Allied Workers' Union
South African State and Allied Workers' Union
(SASAWU) Public and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (PAWUSA) Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa
Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa
(DENOSA) South African Football Players Union
South African Football Players Union
(SAFPU)

The following union has been expelled by COSATU.[8]

National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa
National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa
(NUMSA)

Expulsion of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa[edit] On 8 November 2014, Irvin Jim, the general secretary of the largest COSATU affiliate,[9] the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), announced that the union had been expelled from the COSATU after a vote at a special central executive committee had been convened resulting in a 33-24 vote in favour of the expulsion.[8][10] NUMSA was charged with violating the constitution of COSATU[11] On 6 November 2014, an urgent legal application by NUMSA to prevent the special central executive committee from being convened was postponed by South Gauteng High Court, thus allowing the meeting to take place.[12] On 10 November 2014, 7 unions announced they were voluntarily suspending their participation in COSATU's decision making bodies due to the expulsion of NUMSA and called for a special national congress to be convened.[1] Irvin Jim described the expulsion as "a dark day for workers".[9] Government[edit] COSATU is part of an alliance with the ANC and the South African Communist Party, called the Tripartite Alliance. COSATU’s role in the alliance has been the subject of debate, since the organisation has been critical of some of the ANC government's policies. While some affiliates have argued for greater independence from the ruling political party, others have argued that the arrangement gives COSATU a political influence beneficial to its members. COSATU's former secretary general, Zwelinzima Vavi, has described Jacob Zuma's government as a "predator society."[13] Labour and social movements[edit] South Africa has one of the largest incidence of HIV/AIDS in the world, with a 2005 estimate of 5.5 million people living with HIV — 12.4% of the population.[14][15] The trade union movement has taken a role in combating this pandemic. COSATU is a key partner in the Treatment Action Campaign
Treatment Action Campaign
(TAC), a registered charity and political force working to educate and promote understanding about HIV/AIDS, and to prevent new infections, as well as push for greater access to antiretrovirals. In 1998, COSATU passed a resolution to campaign for treatment. “It was clear to the labour movement at that time that its lowest paid members were dying because they couldn’t afford medicines,” says Theodora Steel, Campaigns Coordinator at COSATU. “We saw TAC as a natural ally in a campaign for treatment. We passed a formal resolution at our congress to assist and build TAC.[16] Notwithstanding the formal alliance of COSATU with the ruling ANC party, it has been at odds with the government, calling for the roll-out of comprehensive public access to antiretroviral drugs.[17] Abahlali baseMjondolo
Abahlali baseMjondolo
offered a strong statement of support to the 2010 Public Sector Worker's strike.[18] Logo[edit] The wheel in the logo represents the economy. The gold colour of the wheel represents the wealth of the country. The figures pushing the wheel, consisting of two men and a women carrying a baby, represent the challenges that workers face namely, racial and gender oppression as well as economic exploitation. These figures are black as they represent the black majorities struggle against racial oppression. The figures are holding a red flag that represents the working class.[19] The slogan on the logo is "An injury to one is an injury to all" signifies the vision the union has of social solidarity that binds the working class.[19] Zimbabwe[edit]

This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (May 2010)

In October 2004 and February 2005 COSATU sent delegations to Zimbabwe to judge conditions in that country before the 2005 Zimbabwe parliamentary elections. They were expelled from the country on both occasions. COSATU has arranged protests and border blockades against the regime in Harare. Current officeholders[edit] National office bearers:[20]

President: Sdumo Dlamini First Deputy-President: Tyotyo James Second Deputy-President: Zingiswa Losi Secretary General: Bheki Ntshalintshali Deputy General Secretary: Solly Phetoe Treasurer: Freda Oosthuysen

Regional secretaries:[21]

Eastern Cape: Macvicar Free State: Monyatso Mahlatsi Gauteng: Dumisani Dakile KwaZulu-Natal: Edwin Mkhize Limpopo: Gerald Twala Mpumalanga: Fidel Mlombo North West: Solly Phetoe Northern Cape: Anele Gxoyiya Western Cape: Tony Ehrenreich

See also[edit]

Organized labour portal

Trade unions in South Africa 2007 South African public servants' strike Siphiwe Mvuyane

Further reading[edit]

Jeremy Baskin, Striking Back: A history of Cosatu, Routledge (September 1991), an account of COSATU's early years from 1985 until the release of Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
in 1990

Notes[edit]

^ One Union expelled, and seven Unions voluntarily suspended their participation in COSATU

References[edit]

^ a b c http://www.fin24.com/Economy/Labour/News/More-unions-quit-Cosatus-exec-body-20141110 ^ a b c d e f http://www.sahistory.org.za/topic/congress-south-african-trade-unions-cosatu ^ South African History Online. "Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)". www.sahistory.org.za. Retrieved 15 July 2013.  ^ Cosatu. "Brief History of Cosatu". www.cosatu.org.za. Retrieved 15 July 2013.  ^ Friedman, Michelle (2010). "The Future is in the Hands of the Workers": A History of Fosatu (PDF). Johannesburg: Mutloatse Heritage Trust. p. 122–124. ISBN 978-09869833-1-3. Retrieved 15 July 2013.  ^ http://www.sahistory.org.za/dated-event/cosatu-intensifies-campaign-against-apartheid ^ http://www.cosatu.org.za/docs/misc/2009/structure.pdf ^ a b http://mg.co.za/article/2014-11-08-numsa-expelled-from-cosatu ^ a b http://citizen.co.za/271622/numsa-will-fight-expulsion-cosatu/ ^ http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Politics/Numsas-expulsion-from-Cosatu-painful-20141108 ^ http://www.fin24.com/Economy/Labour/News/No-fair-hearing-for-Numsa-says-Jim-20141106 ^ http://www.fin24.com/Economy/Labour/News/Numsa-expulsion-Cosatu-meeting-to-go-ahead-20141106 ^ Zuma slammed as strike builds, The Star, 28 August 2010 ^ "2006 Report on the global AIDS epidemic". UNAIDS. Archived from the original on 12 July 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-11.  ^ "Country profile - South Africa". ILOAIDS. Retrieved 2006-07-11.  ^ "Stepping back from the edge" (PDF). UNAIDS. Retrieved 2006-07-11.  ^ "South African Union Boss Demands Government Supply Anti-AIDS Drugs". The Body.com. Retrieved 2006-07-11.  ^ Hospitals blocked as South African unions resume massive strikes, Sipho January, Observer, 19 August 2010 ^ a b http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=925 ^ http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=1026 ^ http://www.cosatu.org.za/contact.php?p=2

External links[edit]

Official homepage COSATU Daily News COSATU Press Releases South Africa Info: Trade Unions in South Africa

v t e

Congress of South African Trade Unions

Leadership (1985-present)

Presidents

Elijah Barayi John Gomomo Willie Madisha Sdumo Dlamini

Secretaries-General

Jay Naidoo Mbhazima Shilowa Zwelinzima Vavi

Affiliated organisations

CEPPWAWU CWU CWUSA DENOSA NEHAWU NUM PAWUSA POPCRU SACCAWU SACTWU SADNU SADTU SAFPU SAMA SAMWU SANDU SASAWU SASBO – The Finance Union SATAWU

History

FOSATU MUSA NUMSA PAWE SAAPAWU

See also

Tripartite Alliance Naledi

v t e

Trade unions in South Africa

CONSAWU

Solidarity

COSATU

CEPPWAWU CWU CWUSA DENOSA NEHAWU NUM PAWUSA POPCRU SACCAWU SACTWU SADNU SADTU SAFPU SAMA SAMWU SANDU SASAWU SASBO – The Finance Union SATAWU

FEDUSA

HOSPERSA IMATU UASA

NACTU

AMCU

SAFTU

FAWU NUMSA SAPU

NAPTOSA PSA Sikhula Sonke

v t e

Political history of South Africa

Defunct polities

Kingdom of Mapungubwe
Kingdom of Mapungubwe
(c. 1075–c. 1220) Dutch Cape Colony
Dutch Cape Colony
(1652–1806) Mthethwa Paramountcy
Mthethwa Paramountcy
(c. 1780–1817) Ndwandwe
Ndwandwe
Kingdom (c. 1780–1819) Cape Colony
Cape Colony
(1795–1910) Zulu Kingdom
Zulu Kingdom
(1816–97) Natalia Republic
Natalia Republic
(1839–43) Natal Colony (1843–1910) Orange Free State
Orange Free State
(1854–1902) South African Republic
South African Republic
(1856–1902) Griqualand East
Griqualand East
(1861–79) Griqualand West
Griqualand West
(1870–73) Goshen (1882–83) Stellaland
Stellaland
(1882–85) Nieuwe Republiek
Nieuwe Republiek
(1884–88) Upingtonia
Upingtonia
(1885–87) Klein Vrystaat
Klein Vrystaat
(1886–91) Orange River Colony
Orange River Colony
(1902–10) Transvaal Colony
Transvaal Colony
(1902–10) Union of South Africa
Union of South Africa
(1910–61) Transkei
Transkei
(1976–94) Bophuthatswana
Bophuthatswana
(1977–94) Venda
Venda
(1979–94) Ciskei
Ciskei
(1981–94)

Events

1652–1815

Dutch settlement French Huguenot settlement Khoikhoi–Dutch Wars Xhosa Wars Battle of Muizenberg Battle of Blaauwberg Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814

1815–1910

Mfecane 1820 Settlers Great Trek Boer Republics Transvaal Civil War Mineral Revolution Witwatersrand Gold Rush South African Wars South Africa Act 1909

1910–1948

Maritz Rebellion Rand Rebellion Great Depression 1946 African Mine Workers' Union strike Bantustans

Apartheid
Apartheid
era

1948 general election Apartheid
Apartheid
legislation

Pass laws

Internal resistance Coloured-vote constitutional crisis Defiance Campaign Congress of the People

Freedom Charter

Women's March 1956 1957 Alexandra bus boycott Sharpeville massacre 1960 republic referendum International isolation

Academic boycott Disinvestment Sporting boycott

Olympics Rugby union

Rivonia Trial Tar Baby Option Durban Moment Border War Israeli alliance

Israel–South Africa Agreement

Soweto
Soweto
Uprising Weapons of mass destruction Project Coast Constructive engagement Church Street bombing 1983 constitutional reform referendum Langa massacre Rubicon speech Dakar Conference Third Force CODESA 1992 apartheid referendum Saint James Church massacre Bophuthatswana
Bophuthatswana
crisis Shell House massacre

Post-apartheid

1994 general election Government of National Unity Reconstruction and Development Programme Truth and Reconciliation Commission Arms Deal Floor crossing Soweto
Soweto
bombings African Renaissance Xenophobia Marikana massacre 2012 Western Cape farm workers' strike Nkandlagate 2014 platinum strike #RhodesMustFall protests # FeesMustFall
FeesMustFall
student protests Tshwane riots

Political culture

African nationalism Afrikaner Calvinism Afrikaner nationalism Azania Baasskap Boerehaat Black Consciousness Movement Day of the Vow Greater South Africa Honorary whites Rooi gevaar Slavery Swart gevaar Uitlander Volkstaat

Defunct organisations

Civic and political organisations

Afrikaner Bond Afrikaner Broederbond Afrikaner Party AITUP APO AVF BPC Black Sash CDA CTEG COD Congress Alliance COSG CP Dominion Party DP (1973–1977) DP (1989–2000) DPP ECC FA FD Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners GNP Het Volk HNP IDASA ID IP ISL Jeugkrag Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Reform Committee Labour Party (1910–1958) Labour Party (1969–1994) Liberal Party (1953–1968) NA NCP Natal Indian Congress NLP NNP NP NPP NRP NUSAS PFP Progressive Party (Cape Colony) Progressive Party PRP Radio Freedom Reform Party SABP SADECO SAIC SASO SAYCO SAYRCO South African Party (Cape Colony) South African Party (1911–1934) South African Party (1977–1980) TNIP Torch Commando UFP United Party Unionist Party Volksparty Workers Party WOSA

Trade unions and social movements

APF BCM BLATU CNETU CTSWU FCWU FNETU FOSATU ICU IWW MUSA NEUM NURHS PAWE SAAPAWU SACTU SAIF SARHU SATUC Die Spoorbund UDF Umkosi Wezintaba

Paramilitary and terrorist organisations

APLA ARM BBB Boeremag Greyshirts MK Ossewabrandwag Orde van die Dood SANF

Histories of political parties

African National Congress Democratic Alliance Pan Africanist Congress of Azan

.