THE National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) on Thursday said it is ready to compete with the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) for membership in the mining sector if the union decides to broaden its scope.
Numsa is South Africa’s biggest union with more than 338,000 members.
The union looks set to extend its scope of recruitment into the mining sector.
Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim on Wednesday said mineworkers previously approached Numsa for membership.
He said next time, workers won’t be turned away.
But NUM General Secretary Frans Baleni says he’s not surprised by the decision and believes Numsa has been working with its rival union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).
“We’re not surprised that we saw posters of Amcu in their [Numsa’s] congress and we’ll take it on.”
At the same time, the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) has called on Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu)-affiliated unions not to be intimidated by resolutions from Numsa’s special congress.
The union adds it respects Numsa’s decision to hold a special congress and is eagerly awaiting its conclusion.
Fawu’s general secretary Katishi Masemola says, “The outcomes of the Numsa congress must not shock people as we need to look at engage with Numsa.”
Meanwhile, suspended Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said President Jacob Zuma’s administration has failed the working class.
He addressed Numsa’s special congress in Boksburg on Gauteng’s East Rand on Wednesday.
Vavi’s address was made in his personal capacity.
Numsa’s special congress began on Tuesday after it was delayed for a week due to the 10 days of national mourning for former president Nelson Mandela.
Delegates at the gathering will decide on the union’s future within Cosatu and will discuss Vavi’s suspension from the trade union federation. — Sapa