The faction of the divided Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions led by former president Lovemore Matombo says a meeting in Bulawayo on Thursday was disrupted by youths wearing ZANU-PF T-shirts who shouted threats against its leaders.
The trade unionists summoned the police after the youths, numbering more than 80 and armed with sticks and iron bars, invaded the meeting and started singing revolutionary songs, threatening Matombo and Acting Secretary General Raymond Majongwe.
Union sources said security staff managed to force the intruders out of the hall.
The youths accused Majongwe, general secretary of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, of insulting President Robert Mugabe. Some of them said they had booked the same venue in the New Royal Hotel for a meeting of their own.
Majongwe told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that he believed the youths were acting under the orders of the rival ZCTU faction led by George Nkiwane, newly elected president of what most observers consider to be the main formation of the federation.
The ZCTU formation led by Nkiwane denied that it had hired the youths, and accused the Matombo faction of trying to confuse workers.
The ZCTU split into two factions after a dispute over leadership elections in August.