CALL US: 012 644 4300

Labour relations specialists Article

Tuesday | 12 February | 2019 Only an ideological mind shift can save Eskom

The high-level Eskom sustainability task team appointed by Pres Cyril Ramaphosa in December submitted its interim report with recommendations for a turnaround strategy to the President on 31 January 2019.    Commonalities between the task team and the Zondo Commission emerged when, during their session with the task team, Eskom trade unions emphasised the rampant corruption at Eskom. Although heads have already rolled over alleged irregularities at executive level, corruption and self-enrichment are still the order of the day throughout the organisation.     Four other problems that are prevailing in Eskom’s procurement process pertain to instances where black economic empowerment
… Read more

Monday | 04 February | 2019 Stability in labour relations requires political stability

In a 2018 report, known as a “Systematic Country Diagnostic of South Africa,” the World Bank expressed its concern over, among others, the state of labour relations in the country. Last year government showed, in the words of Pres Ramaphosa’s opening address at the Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation’s Summit, that it took this part of the report seriously, calling on trade unions and employers to do everything in their power to normalise labour relations.   In the search for a solution one must look beyond the employer/employee/trade union relationship. The total labour relations system must be analysed, and this includes political,
… Read more

Wednesday | 09 January | 2019 Labour relations could boil over in 2019

Looking back on 2018, the year’s violent strikes, as well as the NUM’s and Numsa’s Eskom strike in August, together with Numsa’s strike in the plastic sector and Amcu’s at Sibanye-Stillwater, all go to show that Nedlac has dragged its heels for far too long to introduce legislative amendments to deal with strikes of such a nature. In each of the above instances, employers had to seek court interdicts given the violence and intimidation that characterised the strikes, while appropriate labour legislation regulating strikes of such a destructive nature should have been in place long ago, following Amcu’s five-month long
… Read more

Wednesday | 09 January | 2019 Race-related negotiations  sticky business

Due to various black empowerment-related legislation, regulations and policies that are regularly revised, it is frequent practice at Solidarity to participate in negotiation processes where the focus is on white-black issues.  During the recent negotiations regarding the Mining Charter, it was mainly about black negotiators from the government and other trade unions who wanted to bargain for as many benefits as possible for black South Africans, and on the other side Solidarity tried to limit the impact thereof on white employees. The reality of the Mining Charter’s aim was made very clear when Solidarity was interrupted by a member of
… Read more

Wednesday | 09 January | 2019 The wave of strikes must be stopped

Participation in strikes is a constitutional right, but certain trade unions’ unrealistic demands and the general lack of adherence to the law that is at the order of the day with most strikes, causes damage to all trade unions’ image and the underlying reasons for strikes are not fully understood. There is also a tendency that reports on salary negotiations mainly focus on a trade union’s demands in comparison with the CPI, while the CPI is only an indication and no single person or a group of workers’ living costs increase exactly the same as the CPI. The list of
… Read more

Wednesday | 09 January | 2019 Populism and fake news already part of trade union world

These days, much is written about fake news and the uprising of populism in the political arena, and names like Trump, Putin, Zuma and Malema are mentioned. In South Africa, the populist trade union leaders are way in front of the times and for quite a while now the Vavis, Jims, Dlaminis and Matunjwas have been giving their workers false hope for the day when their work places and the country are going to belong to them, together with strong racial rhetoric. Many poor illiterate workers are already so excited about the thought that just a few more strikes, a
… Read more

Wednesday | 09 January | 2019 Peace in labour relations possible without fighting

An expert on upcoming markets, Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton Investments, has been advising international investors for some time on the South African investment environment. In his latest article, Mobius focused on key economic matters in South Africa which concern him. Among others, he referred to the education system, immigration, infrastructure, inequality, land reform and labour relations. His concern about labour relations corresponds with the view sustained by the credit rating agencies and investors at the World Economic Forum, i.e. that continuous labour unrest creates an unstable and unproductive working environment in the end. Labour relations are partly a power
… Read more

Wednesday | 09 January | 2019 Arbeidsvrede moontlik sonder om te veg

'n Kenner van opkomende markte, Mark Mobius van Franklin Templeton Investments, adviseer internasionale beleggers vir geruime tyd reeds oor die Suid-Afrikaanse beleggingsomgewing. In sy nuutste skrywe fokus Mobius op sleutel- ekonomiese aangeleenthede in Suid-Afrika wat hom bekommer. Hy verwys onder meer na die onderwysstelsel, immigrasie, infrastruktuur, ongelykheid, grondhervorming en arbeidsverhoudinge. Mobius se kommer oor arbeidsverhoudinge stem ooreen met die siening wat deur kredietgraderingagentskappe en beleggers by die Wêreld- Ekonomiese Forum gehuldig word dat deurlopende arbeidsonrus uiteindelik 'n onstabiele en onproduktiewe werksomgewing skep. Arbeidsverhoudinge is deels 'n magspel tussen werkgewers en vakbonde en om die magsbalans te herstel, word vuur soms
… Read more

Monday | 03 December | 2018 The post-consensus era will challenge us

Negotiators and mediators are destined for failure if the new negotiating style, which is gaining ground in the country, is not mastered. This according to Nerine Kahn, former Director of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and current CEO of Employment Relations Exchange, who recently dealt with the post-consensus negotiating style in a blog. Kahn described the new approach as a poker-faced, positional bargaining style that gives minimal leeway for consensus, and where a win-lose compromise is the goal.   This gun to the head approach is threatening the CODESA style of give and take negotiations, as well
… Read more

Monday | 03 December | 2018 Everyone needs a good job

According to US survey company, Gallup, a good job is the main need people experience the world over.   If socialist-minded trade union federations such as Cosatu and Saftu are asked what makes for a “good job,” the answer would be: a job at a workplace which is under worker control; where shorter hours could be worked without a loss of income; a job that pays a salary that provides in all the worker’s needs; and one where surplus income (profit) will be distributed among the workers.   For a trade union such as Solidarity, with its roots in the
… Read more