PLEASE NOTE:

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

 
Support Independent Media
 
Comments: 14
Article views: 470
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all Support Independent Media's badges.
 

Trade Unions Shoot Themselves in the Foot!

26 May 2014, 06:45
The history of Trade Unions is a sad, long history of a waste of time on meetings, a waste of energy on strikes and even more important, a waste of money in terms of the millions, possibly billions that have been paid into unions by union members the world over. 


In 1922 my Great Grandfather was a ring leader in the strikes on the mines in the Witwatersrand. In those days General Jan Smuts sent in the air force and bombed Jeppe. How many people remember those days or even that Jeppe actually got bombed?

For all my Great Grandfather's fervour and passion and for all that the strikes did manage to achieve some measure of improvement for miners, he did not really achieve much on two scores. 


Firstly, he was identified and singled out along with a number of others and after the strikes he soon lost his job and could never get work on any mine in the country again. Secondly, from a financial point of view, which is the main driving force behind all unions, strikes and union fees paid, he certainly did not benefit at all and spent the rest of his life eking out a living on a small plot in the middle of nowhere in a place call Oogies.

In those days Oogies consisted on a main road, a railway station and not much else, besides his pandokkie on his plot. 


If I look at the history of unions worldwide and especially in South Africa and I look back at all the union fees miners have paid in order to fight for better wages and better working conditions and then take a good hard look at what really has been achieved in terms of worker's conditions in almost 100 years, it is very clear that little to nothing has been achieved at all and the concept is a total failure.

Time to re-think the system. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

So I have to ask the question. In almost 100 years has no union come up with a crowd funding scheme where the miners themselves buy shares in the mine that they work on instead of paying union fees into a bottomless pit that has in real financial terms shown little to no return for almost a century? 

As it stands at the moment, management and the share holders get the most benefit in financial terms when times are good . The miners by comparison, see very little benefit. However, when times are tough management and the shareholders also take all the risk, often losing billions and often as a result the mine has to shut down and everyone suffers. But that is the nature of things and trade and commerce is not a charity organisation.


If the miners, instead of wasting their hard earned wages on union fees all these many years had rather invested in the mine, they would not have wasted so much time, energy and more importantly, money . Basically, putting their money where their toy-toy  is. 

Using union fees to buy shares in the mine no matter how large or small those shares may be, means that the workers have a vested interest and what is more also a responsibility towards the mine on which they work.

If the fortunes of the mine go up then so do the fortunes of the miners. If the fortunes of the mine goes down, then so does the fortune of the miners. In this way, both management and the work force all take the risk, all have responsibility.

It costs billions to establish a mine and those who do so take an enormous amount of risk. They also take an enormous leap of faith that they are going to see a return  on their investment. 


By using all or at least a percentage of union fees to buy shares  in a crowd funded share portfolio, the miners take equal part and equal responsibility. What is more, as shareholders with a vested interest they too are effected by profit and loss margins. A strike lasting weeks and losing the mine billions will not be to their benefit.  


My Great Grandfather sacrificed his time, his energy and his money to fight for a better deal for mine workers in 1922. He did manage to improve working conditions and an increase in wages but he ended up with nothing, on a plot in Oogies and a marked man who could not get employment on any mine in this country. 


If he, and all the workers who went on strike with him in 1922, had instead created a crowd funded share portfolio for mine workers on the mine, they would have seen a far better return on their time, energy and union fees. As shareholders they would have had  a voice in mine management and achieved better results. 


They would have also taken equal responsibility in the risk.... but hey... that's how it rolls. There are no free lunches.

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
14 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Lesego Setou
White South Africans Ill Informed...

Whites must take ownership for the role of apartheid in the situation we find ourselves in. Read more...

15 comments 399 views
Submitted by
SetjaDiphoko
Time to come together

Don’t trust white people, if they seem close to you it is because they want to use you Read more...

7 comments 473 views
Submitted by
Aurangzeb Thabethe
Concerning EFF. What are we to do...

I don’t even mean to write an indictment of lazy thinking and sectarian rancour that often characterise the attack on African National congress. Read more...

15 comments 726 views
Submitted by
Rools
Why did God stop writing?

God, the author, of the best selling book ever, the Bible, just disappeared after writing this masterpiece. It is nearly 2,000 years since God had written this masterpiece. Read more...

98 comments 951 views
Submitted by
MikeHampton
Knysna's Crime Climbed Quickly in...

There were 6575 crimes in Knysna in 2014, the highest in 10 years, up 4.6% since last year and 26.5% higher than it was 5 years ago. Read more...

2 comments 274 views
Submitted by
MarkH
Lindy - a tribute to your courage...

Like many of us in SA today, struggling to make ends meet, to make an honest living and to reduce costs, my fiancé eventually cancelled her medical aid cover. Read more...

23 comments 1408 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers 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.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 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.