By Tebogo Mhlanga
The 50 unions are expected to come together for the first time in South African history. Zwelinzima Vavi as a committee chairperson on behalf of the other trade union leaders released a media briefing on Thursday, Johannesburg
The workers summit is due to take place on Saturday at Oliver Tambo Conference Centre, Boksburg
Vavi said COSATU, CONSAWU, FEDUSA and NACTU have been invited and will be expected to address the principles that will be subjected to discussion by workers in the summit.
“We believe that that unions are primary a primary mass organ to represent the interest of workers and that they must strive to unite workers irrespective of their political differences. Hundreds of thousands of workers and activists have been dismissed from their unions and their federation for unacceptable reasons” said Vavi.
“We believe that unions and federation that dismiss workers from their ranks because of political differences will unable to unite workers”
The workers summit committee has outlined its aims and objectives which includes
• To provide an opportunity to make an assessment of the state of the trade union movement and challenges faced by working class now and going forward
• To identify common concerns, common principles, and adopt common approach towards greater working class unity.
• To consider the possibility if forming a new trade union federation based on an agreement on fundamental principles.
• To develop and agree comprehensive proposal to take forward the outcomes of the workers summit.
• To prepare the basis of a declaration to be put to the May Day rally.
The May Day rally is due to take place on sunday under the theme uniting workers for a new campaigning, independent trade union federation: workers and unemployed unite, fight the jobs bloodbath.
Vavi said the May Day will be used to launch campaigning jobs that unite across all sectors of economy
“Beyond the workers summit we shall continue to work hard to ensure that more unions join this train of workers unity. Already many more unions are in discussions and approaching bilateral discussions with a view of joining us”