Business ‘increasingly worried’ about labour

2011-07-07 12:11

Businesses are increasingly concerned about labour issues in South Africa, according to a survey of SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) members released today.

“Members cited the skills shortage and the potential for job creation as most concerning,” said Sacci president Chose Choeu in a statement.

He said members were also concerned about proposed labour law amendments and continued calls by trade unions to ban labour brokers even though these issues were now being negotiated at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).

“The strike action currently being experienced as well as strikes that are threatening are also a contributing factor.”

Several trade unions, representing about 170 000 workers in the metal and engineering sector, started a countrywide strike on Monday.

Yesterday, the National Union of Mineworkers said its members in the gold sector were ready to strike, should negotiations with the Chamber of Mines fail to yield results.

The Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers’ Union; the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union and workers in the finance sector were also threatening to down tools.

“Increased wage and administrative costs associated with significantly above inflation wage demands by unions, will later be passed on to consumers and may have the consequence of reduced employment,” said Choeu.

Sacci would hold a meeting on July 13 to discuss labour issues, including the role of Setas in technical skills training, the experiences of other countries in skills development, the job creation objectives of the New Growth Path, youth employment, and the National Planning Commission’s diagnostic document.

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