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‘Saftu launch marks end of long journey'

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JOHANNESBURG - National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) general secretary Irvin Jim has described the launch of the new labour federation as the beginning of a struggle for worker’s issues, saying unlike Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) it will focus all its energy on fighting for rights.

The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) is holding its founding congress in Boksburg on Friday afternoon.

The federations is being launched with 21 affiliate unions in attendance.

Jim says the launch of this new federation marks the end of a long journey for Numsa leaving Cosatu.

“For us as middle workers, this is a long journey that we were forced to take. We’re very happy that finally, we’ll be launching the new federation.”

He says the real work will now begin to build the organisation.

“We’ll be building a federation now that we'll be both a forest and shield for workers and, therefore, it’s both building, tolerance and patience.”

This congress is due to elect its leaders on Sunday, where former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi is expected to be elected as general secretary.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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