Annual SACTU conference, 18 March 1958

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Mayibuye Archives

The photograph was taken by then banned photographer Eli Weinberg. The inaugural conference for SACTU was held on 5 March 1955 in Johannesburg. SACTU emerged out of nineteen trade unions representing about 20 000 workers. The most important trade unions in SACTU were, the Food and Canning Worker's Union, The Textile Worker's Industrial Union and the National Union of Laundry, Cleaning and Dyeing Workers. From the beginning, SACTU committed itself to play a dual role of economic and political struggles.