JOHANNESBURG – After years of disagreements, the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) has signed an agreement allowing its mother body Cosatu to assist in its conflict with former members of the union.
Samwu, which has been the country’s biggest municipal workers union, has been paralysed by protracted infighting over the leadership and control of its finances.
That has led to the formation of numerous splinter unions in the sector by disgruntled members.
The agreement reached by Cosatu and Samwu would see the reinstatement of members who were suspended and dismissed from the organisation since 2015.
While a resolution was passed at Cosatu’s congress last year allowing the federation’s leaders to intervene in the bankrupt union, the task has not always been welcomed by Samwu leaders.
However, the union’s newly elected leadership appeared to have turned a new page.
The agreement would also see a Cosatu central executive committee task team conduct verification of the union’s staff members who also fell victim to its instability and faced suspensions and dismissals for the past four years.
Samwu and Cosatu also agreed that municipalities which were withholding its members’ subscriptions when the infighting ensued, would have to transfer the funds to the trade union immediately.