The decision was taken at last weekend's annual congress in Natal. Mwasa treasurer Thami Mazwai said this week that some members were unhappy with the decision, but whatever the outcome, "a small number of people (would have been) very unhappy". He said if Mwasa had gone into Cosatu it would have had to merge with other unions, losing its identity and being dismembered.
"In Nactu we can retain our identity and remain an all-black union while in Cosatu we would have hadto adopt non-racial principles. "It is also a question of the Freedom Charter. At our regional congresses there was a strong feeling that a union should not adopt the political document of any movement."
He said members had felt it was necessary to affiliate to a union federation in order to have access to its greater resources. If it did not affiliate, it would also have to contend with the fact that both federations have competing printing unions.
Mazwai said the congress urged Nactu and Cosatu to work for unity; urged unity between the ANC and the PAC and "appealed" to external organisations to stop being sectarian about who they support within the country". The congress also condemned the detention of four of its members.
This article originally appeared in the Weekly Mail.