IOL News report says of Cosatumost recent march:"...the federation went all-out on Monday, calling on the public to take to the streets in support of its national protest, which it hopes will bring the country to a standstill".
Are these many strikes,organised by Cosatu,whatever it may revolve around, just cloaked in underhanded psychological manipulation by Cosatu?
Deceptively aimed at crippling and strangling South Africa's economy,Cosatu,in the end of all their strikes seems to always walk away with making hefty wage gains,and usually are more than twice the rate of inflation.
What it does mean is whenever Cosatu puts forth its demands,it is the Government in the end that has to pay for the wage increases that Cosatu wants and in so doing has to freeze or stop the hiring any new employees that is been looking for work. Is that a paradox? Indeed it is.
Are these powerful,prestigious trade unionist hurting South Africa? South Africa has 23.9 % unemployment which is one of the highest rate of unemployment in the world. That 23.9% do not include people that have become too discourage to even look for work altogether. More than 50% of South Africa's working age population are unemployed when you boil down the real figures.
Is Cosatu's power and stubbornness to blame for South Africa's high unemployment rates? To a degree yes. The reason being that Cosatu have had such a stranglehold on Government that whenever it raises its voice,the rest of South Africa panics. Strikes are so commonplace in South Africa in that we have designated "strike seasons".
IOL says that:"...More than 10 000 marshals will guide the marchers, while in Joburg, metro police, traffic police and SAPS officers will be on hand to control the expected crowds".
Can you imagine how effectively all these officers' time could have been spent fighting crime elsewhere instead of being called upon to deal with such pathetic marches?
With more than possibly a million government workers that's on the picket line,being involved in these marches,you have South Africa effectively shutting down by who else than the Cosatu bigwigs. Water cannons and rubber bullets will probably be used to break these marches you watch and see.
Payroll has become one third of South Africa's entire budget. On average Cosatu were able to negotiate a 9% wage increase for its members according to the IMF report in 2010.Public sector wage increases over the past 18months had been 11% on average.Its unheard of in much of the world especially our hard economic times.
This meant that the Private Sector could not pass on these cost incurred by Cosatu onto the consumer,which in the end meant South African products were made less competitive on the global market. So the effects are felt far and wide.
Factories,offices and stores gets shut down each time Cosatu marches,which makes South Africa's unemployment situation gets even worse. Wage demands and strikes by Cosatu are only skimming at the top of what brings South Africa down.
The labour laws and the draconian way unions operate in the hiring and firing of workers is the worse. An unionized worker knows that the regulation involved in firing him or her makes its essentially impossible for them to ever get fired. Companies in South Africa have become too afraid to "add" to their payrolls because of bringing on a bad attitude employer that's unionized whom they know they just can't fire.
"Dating" an employee for life makes it easier for companies than it would be then lets say "being married" to the employee for life if you know what I mean.
Excecutives therefore make do with fewer workers and therefore prefer to outsource their work to Asia and elsewhere.
Cosatu Unionized workers are the minority workforce in South Africa,but unfortunately they the ones with the jobs that pay decently which already makes them rich compared to other basic workers in the country.
Cosatu is not benefiting the average worker in South Africa.They only making them pay the price for their demands. Unions were supposed to do the opposite of that which is fighting and battling for the average and poorest of the poor in the country.
The revolutionary halo that onced surrounded Cosatu in the 1980's and that helped brought down Apartheid is now being used by the same union to become a "specialist group" serving its own interest.
A group hell-bent on only seeking prestige,rather than the credibility that once surrounded it.