Today's Labour News

newsThis news aggregator site highlights South African labour news from a wide range of internet and print sources. Each posting has a synopsis of the source article, together with a link or reference to the original. Postings cover the range of labour related matters from industrial relations to generalist human resources.

newsIn its Tuesday editorial, Business Day noted that SA’s “strong unions” are often cited as one of the reasons why the country battles with an unemployment rate that reached 27.5% in the third quarter, and that argument holds some merit.  

Labour laws give unions significant power in the workplace, and bargaining councils and the extension of agreements to non-members are often blamed for the lack of job creation.  South Africans are also used to lengthy and violent strikes.  But is our problem really that unions are too strong?  An argument could be made that our unions are, in fact, not strong enough.  Many unions have poor track records when it comes to providing strong, democratic leadership where everyone from the general secretary to the shop steward are held accountable, where transparency of union affairs are a nonnegotiable, and where members’ interests are at the heart of the union’s activities.  Strong unions can be a powerful force for good, not only guarding workers’ rights but also bringing about positive change in society by organising and campaigning to strengthen democracy and good governance, and campaign for human rights.


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