Wage negotiations must be mature and realistic – DA

2011-07-11 14:28

The DA today called on all negotiating parties to approach the situation in a mature and realistic fashion that will allow for a speedy conclusion to the current round of wage negotiations.

The DA noted the escalation of the ongoing industrial action across an increasing number of sectors, DA spokesman Ian Ollis said in a statement.

“The DA fully supports the right of these workers to strike and to bargain collectively, but it is, however, vitally important that these strikes be resolved as quickly as possible in order to minimise economic damage,” he said.

The facts indicated that these strikes cost jobs, and the longer they continued the more jobs were lost.

“We therefore call on all negotiating parties to approach the situation in a mature and realistic fashion that will allow for a speedy conclusion.”

It was clearly in the best interests of all concerned that these strikes were resolved as quickly as possible.

Workers could not afford to go without pay for long, business needed to regain productivity, and the knock-on effects of strikes in key industrial sectors could cause serious economic disruptions and job losses in other sectors.

“It is equally important that the strikes be conducted in an orderly fashion,” Ollis said.

Unions could not and should not allow their members to intimidate non-striking workers or damage private property.

Stalling the economy through prolonged and unproductive strike action could also stifle many job-creating initiatives, thereby denying millions of unemployed citizens the opportunity to pull themselves out of poverty.

This needed to be considered in light of recent figures released by the Adcorp employment index, which indicated an alarming 8.3% decrease in employment during June 2011, which equated to over 120 000 job losses.

“The underlying truth is that these strikes affect all sectors of the economy and will affect the lives of millions of South Africans.

“The parties involved in the negotiations, in particular the union bosses, need to recognise that their actions have a significant impact on the broader community.

“It is not acceptable for unions to hold the entire economy ransom in order to serve their own narrow interests,” Ollis said.

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