Media Alert for the 17th World Trade Union Congress

Sept. 12,  2016

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU)-affiliated unions, namely the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU), the Police Prisons and Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) and the Chemical Energy Print Paper and Allied Workers Union (CEPPWAWU) will be jointly hosting the 17th World Trade Union Congress  from Wednesday, 5th October 2016 until Friday 07 October 2016 at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban, South Africa.

The congress will be convened under the theme “Struggle, Internationalism and Unity. For the Attainment of Contemporary Workers’ Needs. Against Poverty and Wars Generated by Capitalist Barbarism”.

This congress of WFTU will be attended by more than 70 trade union formations, representing the four corners of the world, namely Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe.

The 17th World Trade Union Congress comes at a time of persistent economic downturn of global capitalism that began in 2008 and is projected to now last more than a decade. This has also seen the progressive and left forces scattered all over divided and defocused by their petty sectarian squabbles.The congress will conclude with a mass workers rally at the Curries Fountain stadium on the 08 October 2016.

As part of the closing ceremony, a workers memorial plaque will be unveiled at the Curries Fountain Stadium.

The class orientated and revolutionary trade union movement under the banner of WFTU will use this opportunity to reflect and come out with responses to the challenges facing the working class all around the world and also to consolidate and strengthen the principles of working class internationalism and universalism.

Hosting the 17th world trade union congress of the WFTU, will be an acknowledgement of the role that the South African workers continue to play in the arena of the global working class struggles. It will also strengthen the position of the South African trade union movement in the international trade union arena.

The congress will also afford the workers an opportunity to pay the greatest homage to the foundational figures of the South African trade union movement such as Moses Mabhida, JB Marks, John Nkadimeng, Eric ‘Stalin’ Mtshali, John Taolo Gaetsewe, Billy Nair, Wilton Mkwayi, Mark Shope, Joe Molokeng, Ray Alexander, Stephen Dlamini, Leslie Masina, Leon Levy and many others who pioneered COSATU’s predecessor SACTU.

The Congress will be addressed by the leadership of WFTU and the Alliance: COSATU Cde. Sdumo Dlamini, SACP Cde. Blade Nzimande,  and ANC Cde. Jacob Zuma.

Members of the media are invited to send their applications for accreditation to or