Fedusa, Vavi's federation in name spat

Johannesburg – Zwelinzima Vavi’s new trade federation’s will be challenged in court over its provisional name.

According to the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa), Vavi’s South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has a name similar-sounding to it. The federation’s attorneys, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyer has written a letter to Vavi demanding Saftu’s name to be changed.

In a statement issued by Fedusa, the federation indicated plans to seek relief from the labour court if Saftu does not respond to the request.

Speaking to Fin24 by phone, Fedusa’s general secretary Dennis George explained that the federation was concerned with the similarities in the name.

“If you look at the name, there’s a lot of similarities.” George said that the Fedusa brand was 20-years old and “another person” can’t simply make a federation with a similar name.

He suggested that Vavi consider “circle of trade unions” or “assembly of trade unions”.

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However, Vavi told Fin24 that the fact that a letter was sent from Fedusa’s lawyers indicates that the two federations will have to “meet in court” to settle the matter.

“There is nothing remotely close between Fedusa and Saftu, not in any respect,” he said.

Saftu currently represents 23 trade unions. The federation will be officially launched on Friday, April 21. The newly formed federation also threw its weight behind the National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (Numsa) for the recent national bus strike.

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