We are proud of ANC, says Cosatu, slamming affiliate’s criticism

The country’s largest trade union federation, Cosatu, and its affiliate are at war with each other.

This comes after Cosatu celebrated Workers’ Day alongside the ruling party on Wednesday.

The fight started when the Health Allied Workers Indaba Trade Union (HAITU) accused Cosatu of preferring the benefits of cooperating with the ANC over the wishes of its members.

Sleeping with the enemy

HAITU also accused Cosatu of lobbying the working class to vote for the ANC in the upcoming elections.

Cosatu and the ANC form part of a tripartite alliance along with the SA Communist Party.

According to HAITU president Rich Sicina, Cosatu is a sell-out arrangement that harms the working class because the trade union federation sleeps with the enemy.

Sicina said Cosatu is doing all of this for the union leaders to be rewarded with top government posts, and that has a negative impact on service delivery.

In response, Cosatu’s parliamentary coordinator, Matthew Parks, told Sunday World that the union has a long relationship with the ANC.

Long history of cooperation

“The ANC was with workers when SACTU [South African Congress of Trade Unions] was banned and when Cosatu was born,” said Parks.

He said Cosatu was also with workers to fight against apartheid and achieve democratic dispensation in 1994.

“We were together when we put in place our progressive constitution and labour laws that have uplifted and enshrined workers’ rights and protections.

“We worked together during Covid-19 to save lives and livelihoods.”

Parks added that they are not aware of HAITU, as the overwhelming majority of health workers are members of Cosatu.

“HAITU has not met the threshold for recognition at any health facility,” he said.

Praise for the ANC

According to Parks, Cosatu introduced a national minimum wage, raising the wages of 6-million workers in the country.

“It is only the ANC that has stood with workers. It is only the ANC that has protected workers’ hard-won rights against the opposition parties, who promise to collapse our labour rights.

He shared that on September 1, the two-pot pension reforms will come into effect, bringing relief to millions of highly indebted workers.

“We are proud of what we have achieved and will achieve with the ANC.”

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