The history of the Congress of
South African Trade Unions (COSATU)

Hartford Web Publishing is not the author of the documents in World History Archives and does not presume to validate their accuracy or authenticity nor to release their copyright.

In the Line of Fire
Mayibuye, Journal of the African National Congress, Vol. 6, no. 3, July 1995. Cosatu general secretary Sam Shilowa interviews RDP minister Jay Naidoo on his, and the ANC's performance, over the last year.
COSATU Special Congress Statement
Press Statement, 18 August 1999. COSATU's 1999 Special Congress Gallagher Estate, Midrand. Acting President Peter Malepe outlined the challenges facing the working class: ongoing unemployment and retrenchment of workers, calls from business for a "flexible" labour market, current dispute between the government and COSATU's public service unions over salary increases and the struggle for a living wage.
Statement of COSATU Public Service Unions
24 August 1999. COSATU Public Service affiliated unions are happy about the turn out in the strike action and marches called today to protest against the government's recalcitrance with regard to the salary dispute in the public service. We are equally happy about the public support that our action has received.
Cosatu gives final notice of strikes
By Reneé Grawitzky, Business Day, 23 February 2000. Cosatu issues final notice of countrywide strikes from next month in support of its campaign to halt job losses. The notice was served ahead of the strike by truck drivers demanding overtime payment in accordance with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
COSATU protests to start on Monday
SAPA, 6 March 2000.South Africa's largest trade union - the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) - is set to begin its second round of protest action against job losses. The campaign should culminate in a national strike on May 10 if government and organised business do not address the labor and economic concerns raised by the union. Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said that four of the original seven concerns raised as reasons for the national strike had not been addressed.
Misdirected strategy weakens workers' movement
By Dale McKinley, Chairperson of the SACP Johannesburg Central branch, Green Left Weekly (Australia), May 2000. The time has come to acknowledge that COSATU is rapidly losing its political direction. A large portion of the its leadership and affiliates are becoming members of the "capitalism with a human face" club, and in the process are laying the groundwork for a fragmented and dispirited workers' movement.
COSATU Leaders Stage Sit-in at NEDLAC
COSATU Press Release, 1 June 2000. Angered by the persistent failure of government to take seriously the NEDLAC discussions on South Africa's continuing job loss crisis, the COSATU leadership this afternoon began a sit-in at the NEDLAC offices, Nampak Building, Auckland Park. "Almost 4 out of every 10 South Africans does not have a decent, full-time job. We can no longer tolerate the failure of government to treat this issue as a national priority."
Cosatu demands privatisation moratorium
By Ellis Mnydandu, Reuters, 23 June 2000. COSATU demands a moratorium on the government's privatisation drive, saying the move threatened to swell the country's jobless ranks. Zwelinzima Vavi, general-secretary of the 1.8 million-strong Congress of South African Trade Unions, said the government should finalise a delayed social plan designed to minimise the impact of restructuring on jobs before going ahead with privatisation.
Cosatu speaks up for women
Business Day, 10 July 2000. COSATU criticises the government's macroeconomic policy for neglecting political, social and economic issues affecting the development of women. At the union movement's fourth national gender conference held in Johannesburg last week, delegates put forward a number of resolutions to be discussed at COSATU's national congress in September.
Tripartitie Alliance 'Dangerously Undefined'
SAPA, 12 July 2000.The relationship between government and the tripartite alliance - comprising of the African National Congress, the SA Communist Party and the Congress of SA Trade Unions - is "dangerously undefined". The SAPA represents the ANC.
Alliance of concern to Cosatu chief
Business Day, 13 July 2000. Cosatu president Willie Madisha said: "The alliance has to find better ways to manage the imbalance in internal relationships, which sees the African National Congress in government and Cosatu and the SA Communist Party outside, while electoral victories and social progress still depend on the work of all three partners."
COSATU warns government of major battle over labor laws
SAPA, 27 July 2000. Cosatu warns the government "there would be blood in the streets" if the proposed amendments to the Labour Relation Act (LRA), the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) and the Insolvency Act, were passed into law. It is opposed to nearly all the proposed amendments because they erode workers' rights. Cosatu general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said that the labour legislation process had "totally failed" in certain instances, and would cause a serious crisis within the tri-partite alliance.