PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Greypatriot
 
Comments: 2
Article views: 742
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Greypatriot's badges.
 

Cosatu - moment of truth?

20 September 2012, 13:47

Was the moment the Lonmin platinum mine management awarded a 22% wage increase to their workers, the moment of truth for COSATU? Was it the moment the trade union federation lost its grip on the politics and economy of South Africa? Was it the moment that respect and appreciation for human capital dawned on the industry leaders of South Africa?

The Lonmin platinum mine strike, a deadly crisis with 46 people killed, sent shock waves through the South African society and international markets in the past six weeks. How did this catastrophe happen despite all the labour legislation and trade unions in South Africa? Where were the leaders and negotiators of the trade unions while this was happening?

The news that a wage agreement had been reached in Marikana between Lonmin platinum mine management and worker representatives brought great joy to many. It ended one of the lengthiest and most violent strikes in South Africa’s history. The strike claimed 46 lives, lasted 40 days and resulted in millions of rand in production losses. The labour unrest and violence had a negative influence on labour relations and production at several other mines in the area.

The strike exposed the inept collective bargaining practices in the mining industry, the depressing wages and the squalid conditions in which workers live with their families. The fact that thousands of the workers were members of trade unions had made no difference to their lives. Little mention was made of trade union involvement during the negotiation process, which led to the agreement. Credit for the breakthrough in the workers' negotiations went to Bishop Jo Seoka, the President of the SA Council of Churches and a worker leader Zolisa Bodlani. The CCMA facilitated the negotiation process. The CCMA expressed its appreciation to all parties involved in the Lonmin wage dispute for their contribution to developing a mutually acceptable settlement.

The question that begs to be answered is why were the SACC and CCMA involved and ultimately successful and where were the trade union negotiators during this crisis? Why were they distracted from delivering their unique value proposition of ensuring social justice in the workplace and a sound employer value proposition? Had the trade unions become too cosy and involved in the economic liberation struggle of the ANC government? Were the aspirations of trade union leaders for positions in government leading them astray? Had the role of trade unions as facilitators of sound industrial relations and custodians of social justice, fair compensation, career aspirations and skills development suffer as a result of political activism and political office aspirations? Where were the conversations, initiatives and policies that ensure human dignity, workers’ rights, decent work and solidarity between employees and employers? Why did the strike end with the involvement of people of the spirit? Why was the help of a man of the cloth needed? The only answer could be that trade union officials don’t possess the emotional intelligence and HR acumen, skills and knowledge to ensure a fair value and respect for human capital and social justice in the workplace and that they have not kept their eyes on the ball. Maybe they also don’t know the value proposition of a trade union.

Trade unions are recognized for a set of militant and fraternal functions. Through their militant functions they attain higher wages and better working conditions; they raise the status of workers as a part of industry and they protect labourers against victimization and injustice. Through their fraternal functions they take up welfare measures to improve the morale, dignity and self-confidence of workers; they encourage sincerity and discipline among workers and promote opportunities for promotion and growth. They also protect women workers against discrimination and exploitation. Two of the most competitive nations in the world, nations that rely absolutely on human capital for sustained competitiveness, Switzerland and Germany, rely on trade unions for the stellar employee engagement their companies and industries enjoy. The Marikana event is a Moment of Truth because it is time for fission within COSATU. In nuclear fission, big things are split into smaller things with a resulting atomic explosion! It is time for COSATU to split into smaller specialized skill entities that can better service and support it’s more than two million members! This will ensure that the vision and goals of the national economic development plan will become a reality within a shorter timeframe.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Narian Chengiah Naidoo
A Civilized Society

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said, "Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society." Those words carry value and meaning only if "civilized" is understood as being good, happy and beneficial to all citizens. Read more...

6 comments 457 views
Submitted by
Rodney Bevan
SA under Zuma

Jacob Zuma, along with a handful of cronies has single handedly almost destroyed the country, its people and its economy. Read more...

37 comments 2662 views
Submitted by
The Fox 5366
Illegal Miners: Voiceless Prostit...

There's been a lot said about legalising prostitution so that prostitutes can be protected, receive healthcare and not be victimised. Read more...

12 comments 613 views
Submitted by
siphokuhle dludla
The real South Africa today

Truth be told, South Africa is a country with palpable inequalities, which is a fact, it is a country where poverty continues to lacerate a huge number of our population particularly black people. Read more...

21 comments 891 views
Submitted by
Greypatriot
The ANC constitution does not off...

The official ANC constitution does not forbid or punish corruption. The term corruption is not listed or defined as a key term in the latest version of the official constitution of the ANC. Read more...

5 comments 509 views
Submitted by
LeboDang Macman
Why using race as a proxy doesnt ...

I am not an academic nor do I profess to be, so everything I write will be based purely on experience. Read more...

14 comments 662 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Digital Media & Marketing Association
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.