The “Bolton Hall Four” David Davis, David Hemson, Jeannette Cunningham-Brown and Halton Cheadle were banned for five years under the Suppression of Communism Act on 1 February 1974.

Harriet organised a meeting to protest the bannings at the Currie’s Fountain Stadium on 9 February. With no support from TUCSA, she warned Arthur Grobbelaar, the Secretary, that the GIWU’s executive committee had an ultimatum - either TUCSA supported the protest meeting, or the union would withdraw from TUCSA. The GWIU was TUCSA’s second-largest affiliate, with just under twenty-one thousand paid up members; their disaffiliation would have meant a significant financial knock for TUCSA. Grobbelaar confirmed that TUCSA would not support the protest meeting.

After the protest meeting, Harriet warned of “a mass exodus” from TUCSA, and confirmed that the GWIU would disaffiliate. She also said that the Furniture union and the Engineering union may follow suit. She TUCSA had become a ‘spineless talking machine that has lost touch with the workers’.

At a TUCSA meeting on 19 February 1974, executive committee members condemned Harriet for her involvement in the protest meeting, and her public criticism of TUCSA.

As the new unions continued to grow, it was agreed that a federation to coordinate their work was necessary. The Trade Union Advisory and Coordinating Council (TUACC), was constituted. The TUACC continued to coordinate the unions until 1979, when the Federation of South African Trade Unions (FOSATU) was formed.

Collections in the Archives