NEHAWU was founded on 27th and 28th June 1987 by workers from the Education, Health, Government and Social Welfare sectors. The Union is affiliated to COSATU - Congress of South African Trade Unions, which is the biggest federation in the country with over 1.9 million members.
NEHAWU is in COSATU for one strong workers' voice, to unite with workers from other progressive sections of our South African society. NEHAWU is the biggest Public Sector Union and the biggest in the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council, a negotiations structure for public service employees in South Africa.
NEHAWU is based on the following core principles:
• Worker control of the union;
• Worker leadership;
• Democratic decision making through mandates and report backs;
• Worker solidarity: An injury to one is an injury to all!
• International Solidarity.