Low membership worry for unions
COSATU and its affiliates are losing their membership to rival unions because of poor service to disgruntled members.
This is contained in a draft discussion document - titled "Organisational Report" - to be discussed at Cosatu's National Congress that started at Gallagher Estate in Midrand yesterday.
A separate report, called the "State of affiliates Report", which was distributed to delegates yesterday, revealed that Cosatu affiliates lost 20,736 members who resigned from unions between 2009 and 2011.
It identified the worst affected unions as Sadtu, with 5297 resignations, followed by Nehawu 5,283, Denosa 5,160, Popcru 3,625 and Sasbo 1,371.
The discussion around loss of members comes after the National Union of Mineworkers raised concerns at its own conference in May over how it was losing members to its rival union, Amcu - without mentioning it by name - at certain mines around the country.
Cosatu, which together with its affiliated unions has 2.2-million members, had planned to reach a membership of 4 million by 2009.
Meanwhile, according to the Department of Labour's published statistics, there were 193 registered unions as of July, with 117 of these being independent of Cosatu.
While only eight out of 20 unions affiliated to Cosatu gained more than 15000 members since 2009, the Communications Workers Union, defence union Sandu and social services union Sasawu failed to register growth.