Fosatu Worker News

Fosatu poster

Fosatu Worker News was first published in 1979 with the formation of the Federation of South African Trade Unions (Fosatu) in the wake of the Durban strikes in 1973. It was distributed to all union members. It continued until the formation of the less workerist and more ANC aligned Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in 1985.

Alfred Temba Qabula: 1942 - 2002: A Tribute

Alfred Temba Qabula

A tribute to the South African worker poet, Alfred Temba Qabula, by Ari Sitas

The Workers' Struggle - where does Fosatu stand?


This is the text of a famous speech given by Joe Foster, a workerist militant in FOSATU.

Rethinking “Workerism” and the FOSATU Tradition, 1979-1985


This essay, by Sian Byrne, argues that “workerism” was a distinctive, mass-based and coherent multiracial current in the black trade unions in South Africa and that it played an important role in the larger anti-apartheid movement, and stressed class-struggle, non-racialism, anti-capitalism, worker self-activity and union democracy.

'The Future is in the Hands of the Workers': A History of FOSATU


This booklet is a history of the Federation of South African Trade Unions (FOSATU) in South Africa.

FOSATU was formed in 1979. It's roots were in the 1973 strike wave by black workers in Durban and Pinetown (part of the "Durban Moment"). FOSATU's constitution enshrined the principles of workers' control of their trade unions, non-racialism, worker independence from party politics, international worker solidarity and trade union unity.