The Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) cannot go back to the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), expelled Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Monday.
“My honest view, comrades, is that with this detail presented there can be no turning back from where we are. Fawu can’t go back to Cosatu because there is no Cosatu to go back to,” he told delegates at Fawu’s national congress in Bela Bela in Limpopo.
“… We must not lose hope. We must be brave. It is time to forge a new path to rebuilding the power and strength of the working class, in its fight back against poverty and exploitation.
“It is time to reach out to all unorganised workers, whether they are permanent or casual, formal or informal. We need to go back to the basics of organising and servicing, but with new insights and understandings of what solidarity amongst workers means.”
Fawu was holding its congress which must decide whether the union stay as an affiliate of Cosatu or leave.
The congress ends on Friday.
Cosatu national spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the federation hoped the congress would come up with answers to the challenges facing the workers.
“We hope this national congress will continue in the union’s old tradition of engaging in frank and robust debates and also come out with answers to the myriad of challenges facing the workers and the working class.
“We remain committed to worker control and democracy, and we hope that Fawu delegates will use their power to unite their organisation and refuse to allow any divisions or fragmentation in their organisation,” he said.
“We also trust that the workers will use this congress to defend their federation and also use this opportunity to reaffirm Fawu as an affiliate of Cosatu. This federation remains a home of all workers and all workers will be better organised under the leadership of Cosatu.”
He said Cosatu needed a militant and stronger Fawu that would strengthen the federation and at the same time protect the vulnerable workers from the ravages of capitalism.
“We expect all our unions to remain occupied with broad social and political issues, as well as the immediate concerns of its members. They must continuously strive to remain a social force for transformation and their influence on society must remain based on their organised power, and their capacity to mobilise.”
– African News Agency (ANA).