Cosatu has warned of the potential for violence and disruption in the short term amid attempts by an ANC breakaway group to form a new union federation.
"The [Central Executive Committee] agreed that they will never succeed in breaking up our unity and creating an alternative federation, that we should be concerned [about] the potential for violence and disruption in the long term," its president Sdumo Dlamini said at a media briefing in Johannesburg yesterday.
His deputy general secretary, Bheki Ntshalintshali, said many people were "grumpy in one way or another and are trying to settle scores".
Their comments come amid debate over the right of workers to choose their own political affiliation. Cosatu is traditionally affiliated to the ruling ANC as a partner in an alliance with the SACP, as opposed to Solidarity which is not politically aligned.
Dlamini said the union body felt betrayed and embarrassed by its former president Willie Madisha, who began working with Cope after a succession of sackings stripped him of top posts in Cosatu, the SACP and Sadtu.
"Madisha wants to form a labour federation forgetting you need many unions," Dlamini said.
"He does not have one, because definitely he is not going to take Sadtu into that thing," he added.
He said workers had lost money and jobs defending people such as Madisha and former SACP treasurer Phillip Dexter. - Sapa