THE National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) lashed out at leaders of the African National Congress (ANC) and South African Communist Party (SACP) on Friday‚ directly accusing them of dividing trade union federation Cosatu.
Numsa has come under heavy fire by alliance leaders after perceptions that it was threatening to walk out of the federation if the current onslaught on suspended general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was not halted.
Mr Vavi was suspended over his admission of an affair with a Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) employee by a special meeting of federation top brass two weeks ago.
Targeting ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe‚ Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said he had taken a "factional line” when he suggested Cosatu had abandoned its principle of worker control at a political school last week.
"We feel very angry and despondent by the opportunistic stance taken by Gwede Mantashe‚” Mr Jim said. "He took a factional line.”
He also condemned SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande for his comments at the political school‚ saying the SACP’s duty was to unite the federation‚ not divide it. "What Gwede and Blade did showed … they are directly involved in dividing the federation.”
Mr Nzimande warned at the weekend that should Numsa attempt to take workers out of Cosatu‚ the union would have to pass through him first.
Mr Jim quipped in response to this that Mr Nzimande would find this difficult because he would be "in Parliament”.
Numsa is part of the group in Cosatu that believes the general secretary of the SACP should be in his post permanently‚ and should not lead the organisation while simultaneously serving in the national cabinet.
On the alliance summit‚ which is expected to kick off on Friday‚ Numsa said it and other affiliates had asked Cosatu to request that the meeting be postponed because affiliates were not ready for the gathering.
But the meeting was still pushing ahead. Numsa said it would not attend because it had not prepared.
Numsa had also written to Cosatu to request that Mr Vavi be reinstated‚ failing which the union would consider approaching the courts. © BDlive 2013