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