Johannesburg - Workers are being easily misled by splinter
unions, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Tuesday.
"(This raises) questions about the level of political
education and organisational democracy in these unions," Vavi told
delegates at the Congress of SA Trade Unions' (Cosatu) 11th national congress
in Midrand, Johannesburg.
"Disgruntled leaders who have fallen foul of
organisational discipline are mobilising support, using populist tactics and
exploiting our organisational weaknesses."
He was referring to the Association of Mineworkers and
Construction Union (Amcu) and the National Transport and Allied Workers' Union
"We have seen the potentially devastating impact of
opportunistic splinter groups on the unity of workers, most graphically seen
recently with the activities of Amcu, set up by a former Num leader in
opposition to Num," said Vavi.
Amcu leader Joseph Mathunjwa was the branch chairman of the
National Union of Mineworkers (Num) at BHP Billiton.
Vavi was delivering the Cosatu political report on the
second day of the conference.
A source of the trade federation's problems was the lack of
union education programmes.
The focus of Cosatu's organisation-building culture was
diminished, he said.
Only a quarter of union members in the workers' survey had
participated in a union educational programme, and just over a half had
attended a union meeting in the past year.
Only 6% of workers knew who their union president
and general secretary were.
"This is a disaster," said Vavi.
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