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Last updated: 26 September 2017

FAWU Media Statement on COSATU Protest Action On 27 September 2017

The Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU), a proud and founding affiliate of the South African Federations of Trade Unions (SAFTU), agrees with the objectives and goals behind the call for protest actions by the Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (COSATU) but would not support and will not be part of such actions for the following reasons.

The crises of corruption and related inaction by the ruling party to address those has long being raised and we find it opportunistic for COSATU to have a drive only recently in campaigning against those as it was supposed to have done so, even before expelling the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), which had long pronounced on the matter but was targeted for the same call. If anything, we hold a view that this call may not be as genuine but part of manipulated political manoeuvres based on factional agendas in the Alliance.

FAWU will urge its members to report for duty and to not join the COSATU protest but rather wait to join the genuine protest actions against corruption and state looting when our federation, SAFTU, makes that all.

We cannot support a COSATU that wants us, with SAFTU, when it suits them but find it enjoyable to block SAFTU from being an admitted player at NEDLAC, where this and other issues were discussed and concluded the way they were. If anything, we further note the below

  • This COSATU continues to engage on Sugar Tax discussions, representing their jackets at NEDLAC, yet they don`t have members in the sugar production and supply-chain up to sugary beverages manufacturing
  • This COSATU still discuss the Tobacco legislation and regulations amendments yet they represent zero-workers and FAWU, representing the entire cigarette manufacturing and significant tobacco leave farm workers, is deliberately excluded
  • This COSATU, with no members in the alcohol manufacturing industry, be it malt/beer or spirits and wines, and in wine farms hopes to continue excluding FAWU in the discussions on liquor consumption and distribution/marketing legislation.
  • Thanks that we were able to carve out some space for us, as FAWU, to play a direct role in a Task team on poultry crises outside NEDLAC as we could have been questionably left out by this COSATU with little membership in the chicken production and supply-chain.

Having said the above, FAWU will continue to support selected COSATU affiliates in solidarity actions, such as SACCAWU on its strike at Makro chain-wholesalers, but will not support political agendas that smacks factionalism in Alliance politics.

We call on ALL FAWU members to save their energy and report for work as days of aggressive rolling mass action against triple crises of poverty, inequality and unemployment as well as against corruption and state looting are coming in the next few weeks over the next three months.

For more information kindly contact the General Secretary, Katishi Masemola at 082 467 2509, Deputy General Secretary, Mayoyo Mngomezulu 082 440 4039, and Media Officer, Dominique Martin at 082 498 5631.