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Union rift to spur realignment of South African labour

Monday, May 4, 2015

Significance

On March 31, COSATU expelled former Secretary-General Zwelinzima Vavi -- ostensibly for "misconduct". The move exposes deep rifts within the labour movement, which make an easy reconciliation highly unlikely.

Impacts

  • The official opposition Democratic Alliance's leadership race could exacerbate factionalism, weakening it ahead of 2016 municipal polls.
  • Gold mining firms' inability to meet the National Union of Mineworkers' 75% pay hike demand is likely to result in a strike.
  • Manufacturers are likely to refrain from hiring -- at least until uncertainties over union rivalries and access to US markets are resolved.
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