Zwelinzima Vavi says union leaders must stop acting like bosses who can make decisions without touching base with their union members.
Cosatu's general secretary says the way towards unity is to have Numsa reinstated and to hold a special national congress "sooner rather than later".
A special national congress will be held by trade union Cosatu next year, and sources say Zwelinzima Vavi will not be removed.
Political reporter Qaanitah Hunter looks at the developments along the road to the Cosatu/ Numsa split, and what impact this may have on the federation.
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa has been expelled from Cosatu after a grueling special central executive committee meeting.
Having the three secretaries of the tripartite alliance under one roof has been an unfamiliar sight lately - let alone having them share a stage.
Differences of opinion and divisions in Cosatu cannot be resolved through elections or by axing members, an ANC-led task team has found.
Jacqueline Phooko, the office worker with whom Zwelinzima Vavi had "brief intercourse", is suing Vavi, Cosatu and Numsa for damaging her reputation.
The teachers union snubbing Zwelinzima Vavi in favour of S'dumo Dlamini as a speaker at its congress suggests the ANC has failed to reunite Cosatu.
Unless its leaders act urgently, the federation will face a decline in membership, political clout and reputation, says Zwelinzima Vavi.
An ANC task team has pulled out all the stops in its attempts to heal the troubled trade union federation, but to no avail.
Business and labour are at loggerheards over Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's plans to introduce a mandatory salary 'floor' for workers.
The trade union and the Creative Workers Union of SA agreed to campaign for the actors demands and ask viewers to "switch-off" from September 15.
Expelled and suspended members of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union have resolved to form a trade union open to all public sector workers.
Suspended teacher union members insist their removal ahead of key conferences is a ploy by a Cosatu faction.
Cosatu's secretary general is still defending the union federation's shaky unity, even though plans for Numsa's break-away are already in motion.
Cosatu's Zwelinzima Vavi has told thousands of striking metalworkers that workers have no reason to celebrate 20 years of freedom.
Cosatu's Zwelinzima Vavi and opposition parties have harshly criticised Jacob Zuma's Sona, with some calling for a radical change to economic policy.