With the formation of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) as a rival to the crumbling Cosatu federation, the working class are apparently in a red mood ahead of Workers Day on May 1, now a sort of Maroon Monday as working-class solidarity changes colour. "Cosatu forms part of the ruling elite that has brought our country to its knees," Saftu’s Zwelinzima Vavi, formerly a Cosatu big shot, wrote in a report to Saftu’s inaugural congress. His enemies think Vavi and his comrades are already members of the governing elite and wish to remain part of this labour aristocracy, as some of the bourgeoisie like to call union bosses. With such cynicism widespread in the trade union movement and outside it, one is reminded of the legendary socialist song The Red Flag, sung to the tune of the German Christmas carol O Tannenbaum. A parody of this great sing-a-long song highlights what some consider to be the hypocrisy of the sort they claim runs deep in the upper ranks of Cosatu an...

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