Today's Labour News

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numsaBL Premium reports that the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), the country’s biggest, and arguably the wealthiest union, says it is now focusing on uniting its membership after a faction successfully applied for a court order stopping the recent national elective congress from going ahead until the union complied with its own constitution.

Numsa, however, elected to go ahead with the conference, held in Cape Town last week, saying it had lodged an appeal against labour court judge Graham Moshoana’s ruling. But on Thursday, Moshoana refused Numsa’s application for leave to appeal the ruling, saying the trade union’s decision to defy the order was “an unguided and unwise move”. Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said the union would now petition the labour appeals court (LAC) for direct access to appeal against the ruling. Numsa heavyweights Irvin Jim, Andrew Chirwa and Mphumzi Maqungo were re-elected unopposed as general secretary, president and national treasurer. “Now that Numsa has had its congress and we have a new leadership we can focus on uniting our members. We are clear that it is not the rank and file which are a problem. It is individuals in leadership who are driving a selfish narrow agenda to destabilise the union,” Hlubi-Majola said. Chirwa recently admitted the union was rocked by infighting. In a recent open letter, Numsa former deputy general secretary Karl Cloete wrote that in its 35-year existence, Numsa has seen attempts to “clamp down on dissent with instances of the dismissal of critical thinkers and sidelining of certain regions which did not see eye-to-eye with the national leadership”. Hlubi-Majola, however, was adamant that Numsa would emerge “stronger” after this episode.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Luyolo Mkentane at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)
  • Read too, Numsa says it is under siege from all sides, as threat of deregistration looms, at Fin24 (subscriber access only)

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page