​Newly formed Saftu to champion interests of working class, says Numsa

A new labour federation has been launched in South Africa, giving Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) a run for its money.

Read: Vavi's new union federation is worker focused rather than political

The SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) held its founding congress in Boksburg on Friday afternoon, launched with 21 affiliate unions in attendance.

Saftu has been spearheaded by trade unionist Zwelinzima Vavi and National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa's) general secretary Irvin Jim.

Jim says that Numsa did everything it could to stay with Cosatu, which he says was hellbent on defending the status quo and the symbols of the ANC - instead of the working class.

He has described the launch of the new labour federation as the beginning of a struggle for worker’s issues.

This is a beginning of hard work. We have to build these unions to be both shields and spears in the hands of workers.

Irvin Jim, Numsa general secretary

Also read: New union federation will be a force to reckon with, says Vavi

We need to build an independent union that is going to be taking mandate's from workers and dealing with class struggles.

Irvin Jim, Numsa general secretary

Jim says Saftu aims to take up the struggle economic transformation and champion the fight for nationalisation.

He says the next step may be to launch a worker's political party.

Take a listen:

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