The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) mourns the passing of its affiliate Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers Union (SACTWU) founding President, Cde Amon Ntuli. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.
Cde Ntuli was a stalwart of the trade union movement having emerged from the historic and famous Durban strikes of 1973 that changed the Labour landscape in this country. He went on to become an influential figure in the founding of both FOSATU and COSATU.
He became the first President of SACTWU in 1989, when he was elected unopposed in its inaugural congress. He also served the Federation and the workers for many years, contributing immensely to form what became one of COSATU’s steady and efficient unions.
Cde Ntuli was part of a visionary leadership that tirelessly worked to unite workers and reduced the fragmentation of unions. They understood that this fragmentation played into the hands of the architects of apartheid and the exploitative employers who fomented these divisions.
He championed the concept of collective bargaining and other worker rights, like the right to strike. He was a visionary and a pragmatic leader whose sole concern was to eliminate exploitation and lift the living standards of the workers and the working class as a whole.
He believed in linking workplace and societal struggles and was not afraid of change, and embraced new ideas. He leaves behind a rich history of solution-oriented approaches to trade unionism.
Internationally, he served as a Vice President of the International Textile, Garment & Leather Workers Federation (ITGLWF), a founding international of the now IndustriAll Global Union.
We shall honour Cde Ntuli by improving the levels of service for workers and defending collective bargaining and other hard-won rights.
May his soul Rest in Peace!
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794