Debilitating internecine rivalry and squabbles give scant hope that a leftist realignment can succeed.
The launch of a new anti-corruption coalition could be a sign that major labour shifts are afoot.
The local steel industry is vanishing and about 190 000 people face losing their jobs.
Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini has called on rebel unions aligned with Numsa and former general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi to "free themselves".
Eight rebel unions who sympathise with Numsa and Vavi are working with them to try to force a discussion about the transformation of Cosatu.
Trade union wins high court case and hopes to save jobs for 165 of its members who faced the axe.
Can government afford to reconsider the imposition of a fee for pollution given the economic stresses that the country is currently facing?
Three Cosatu affiliates have accused Sdumo Dlamini of using a CEC meeting to further their own agenda and have decided to boycott it.
Cosatu's policy is one sector, one union but there could be two, metalworker's union if Numsa has its way.
Cosatu boss Sdumo Dlamini says the rebel unions had only identified unity and cohesion as issues they want to be addressed, not electing new leaders.
Trade union federation says it had planned to hold the meeting, but Numsa says legal intervention was needed to compel it to do so.
Zwelinzima Vavi will not appeal his expulsion from Cosatu as general secretary, unless it holds what he calls a legitimate congress.
Numsa has to figure out exactly what form of socialism its new party will adopt, what it will mobilise around, and with what resources.
Numsa and eight rebel Cosatu affiliates have asked the courts to intervene after eThekwini Municipality withdrew its earlier permission for a march.
This is a time to embrace working-class unity and challenge the status quo of capitalist oppression.
His dissident views made him a renegade communist, but a new biography confirms Harold Wolpe as an influential radical voice.
Numsa wants full disclosure from Eskom on the so-called "war room", and it believes that the electricity crisis is due to multi-million contracts.
Numsa says its members still have to vote on Eskom's offer that they return to work, but the NUM says they have already accepted the deal.
Workers are considering Eskom's offer to reinstate them even though working conditions at the Medupi power plant have not yet been addressed.