S Africa: Cosatu and allies vow to stop DA-led march on union HQ

Mail and Guardian

Unions, the ANCYL and YCL have vowed to disrupt a DA-led march on Cosatu’s headquarters, warning it will mark the beginning of “open class warfare”.

Numsa’s Irvin Jim addresses the media on Sunday, announcing the intention of Cosatu affiliates and the youth wings of the ANC and the SACP to stop a march on Cosatu’s HQ by the DA this week.

The Democratic Alliance announced its intention to march on the labour federation’s headquarters in Johannesburg after party leader Helen Zille accused Cosatu of working against the interest of unemployed people in her Workers’ Day address on May 1.

But at a press conference in Johannesburg on Sunday, Cosatu affiliates and political youth bodies promised to put a stop to the DA’s march, which the party insists will go ahead on Tuesday regardless of any efforts sabotage its demonstration.

“The DA march marks the beginnings of an open class warfare that will characterise the South African political landscape,” said Irvin Jim, the general secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa). “We welcome this provocation and will grab the opportunity to be frontal against white monopoly.”

Jim was speaking on behalf of a tacit coalition between Numsa, the South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu), the Communication Workers Union (CWU), the ANC Youth League, the Young Communist League and the South African Students Congress (Sasco).

Following a meeting last week, the allies agreed to oppose the DA-led march, labelling it a “provocation” of the working class.

“This march is not for unemployed youths, it is a celebration of what it perceives as a victory over the popular forces of democracy in South Africa since 1994,” Jim said.  Read more…

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