MEMBERS of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA yesterday vowed to influence Cosatu to move swiftly in organising a national strike calling for a total ban of labour brokers and not the regulation that the parliamentary process seems to be heading towards.

Speaking to Sowetan on the first day of the union's three-day bargaining conference yesterday, Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim lashed out at detractors, saying there was no time to "play around with English terms" on the merits of whether labour brokers should be banned or not.

He said the labour movement should guard against a likely move by business leaders, who might secure a court interdict to oppose the banning of labour brokers. He said workers' fate rested on the ANC's lack of "decisiveness to act" on banning the system.

Most delegates said the same "injustice" that occurred when Eskom was granted a 25percent electricity hike, after thousands of opposing submissions were made by members of poor communities during the nationwide public hearings, should be guarded against.

Jim also referred to the wage subsidies announced by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in his maiden budget speech as an "insult" and said there were still some "right-wing" elements opposing change within the Treasury.

Also present at the conference was Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, who thanked the metal workers for their input during the portfolio committee's public hearings on the Industrial Policy Action Plan and urged them to fully support the plan amid opposition from the "liberal media and companies with narrow and vested interests".

He said the plan, if correctly implemented, could create up to 160000 decent jobs in the manufacturing sector over the next 10 years.

Delegates will look to Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi for an update on the National Economic Development and Labour Council Section 77 application when he addresses the conference today.

A successful application would enable the trade federation to embark on a strike.