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Where is our Gianni Agnelli?

21 May 2014, 19:32
In the 1980's Gianni Agnelli was president of Fiat, when the Italian trade unions were blocking all of Fiat's production by  picketing the factory and preventing workers who wanted to work from entering.

Agnelli organised and led 'The march of the 40 000' - forty thousand workers who broke the pickets and re-entered the factories to resume working. This marked the demise of the power of the trade unions which to this day have not recovered their influence on Italy's politics and economy.

A similar event happened in England in the late 1980's and beyond, when Thatcher stood up to the trade unions. In the end, around 150 mines were closed to the detriment of many.

Trade unions started out in order to prevent workers from being exploited. However, they then have since  become the exploiters themselves, regarding union dues as more important than the plight of hundreds of thousands of workers, whilst they, the union leaders, are sitting  pretty.

We have now reached this stage in South Africa (some 3 decades after Europe and England), where excessive union power is destroying the livelihood of so many workers. Yes, unions are still required to a certain extent, but they have now become far too powerful in their own right here in South Africa.


Because events are clearly showing that the time of excessive union power is also coming to an end here as our economy - and thus the hopes for increased future mass employment - is being destroyed. The question now is: where is our own Gianni Agnelli?
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