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Here's why Numsa's expulsion from Cosatu should worry you as an employer

by , 11 November 2014
The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) has been expelled from Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

According to City Press, the fate of Numsa was decided in the early hours of Saturday morning at a 16-hour Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting, dubbed 'the night of the long knives' by some delegates.

The union was expelled by a vote of 33 against 24.

Numsa's foes wanted it kicked out for, among other things, poaching members from fellow affiliates, defying official Cosatu positions and taking a stand against the ANC, the leader of the tripartite alliance.

Now, the General Secretary of Numsa, Irvin Jim, has vowed that the union will fight back.

If you think Numsa's expulsion is all political and has nothing to do with your business, you're wrong. Here's why it should worry you...


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Here's how Numsa's expulsion from Cosatu will affect your business

 
Speaking to Radio 702 late last month, labour analyst, Gavin Brown said: 'Effectively, we've been living with the split of Cosatu for the last two years now. Employers don't benefit in any way from intra-union conflict, as it inevitably comes at the cost of the employer, due to strikes leading to massive economic losses.'
 
But former General Secretary of Cosatu, Mbazima Shilowa believes the split will affect labour relations.
 
He told Radio 702 host, Xolani Gwala that employers should be worried because they're going to have to start afresh in terms of working with unions.
 
Shilowa believes Cosatu will encourage the formation of a new metal workers' union. This union will have to start afresh in terms of seeking recognition in the workplace. He added, the split will affect labour relations on the ground.

As you know, the Labour Relations Act (LRA) says trade unions can press for organisational rights, meaning any trade union with enough members at your workplace can demand you accept the union as an official union in the workplace.
 
So if you're in the metals industry, you may have to deal with a number of unions who want recognition. And since we've not heard the end of Numsa's expulsion from Cosatu, we'll keep you updated on this saga and how it will affect you. In the meantime, check out the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service to discover how to deal with trade unions effectively, efficiently and in a legally watertight way.


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