Provocative title I know, but justified.
The mine industry had its official wage negotiations in last year June, they agreed a 2 year wage deal which was signed off by the unions and the miners, and of course the bosses. This made it a rubber stamped official agreement, agreeing to not debate this topic again until the next wage negotiation, due June 2013. See http://www.bullion.org.za/documents/Gold%20Agreement.pdf for the agreement between the Chamber of Mines and NUM if you like legal documents.
As can be seen, there are existing controlled forums for these types of things. The miners don’t care, they are on an unprotected illegal strike, meaning that are breaking the rules and can be fired as such.
I run a business that employs around 20 people full time. I have only been in business for 3 years, and have incurred serious debt to get to this point, meaning I have non-negotiable financial obligations with banks, landlords and suppliers. Due to the nature of it being a difficult period for a young business in a recession, I have so far this financial year only been breaking even, some months good other months far worse than anticipated. What this means is I have not had any money to grow the business, far from it, the reality being I have only managed to pay myself 1 month’s salary in the last 7 months. Fortunately I have a wonderful intelligent wife who earns enough to cover us both during this period, though her company is in the process of retrenching, so the belt is tightening further.
Bear with me now as I bore you with some financial detail.
At the beginning of the strike, on the 9th August 2012, the exchange rate was R8,09 to the dollar. As of today (8 October 2012) it is R8,85 to the dollar (source www.xe.com/ucc). Most economists are saying this is a direct result of the wildcat strikes and could worsen to R9.20 to the dollar.
My business uses around 1500 litres of petrol per month. On the 31st of July the petrol price was R10.47 in my area (KZN). Today it is R11.85. The main contributor to this increase is the exchange rate, as the price per barrel on August 9 was $113, and it was a similar price per barrel last week.
Okay, you can wake up now, the financial part is over.
That means that since the strike began, as a result of the uncertainty the rand has plummeted so much that I now am losing over R2000 per month just in petrol costs. Luckily I don’t have to import in dollars too often, the companies that do that must really be suffering. Never mind those that use platinum! Of course we are also experiencing an increase in food prices a result of the fuel price increase too. But the really disappointing part is I now have to let 1 of my 20 staff go, because I can’t afford to put in any more money, and I have to try to keep my business sustainable. And yes, I have to also now put my prices up, affecting my customers.
I am one person, running a small business, and you can see how this strike has affected my tiny sphere of influence, and how 1 person that supported 5 is now jobless, and it actually would not have had to happen had the miners and unions stuck to what they agreed to and had signed accordingly in a legally binding document.
So, illegal miners and unions ‘for the people’, can you please explain how you are helping this country progress in the worst recession the world has seen in decades? As if it wasn’t hard enough being an entrepreneur in this country, you might be putting the nail in the coffin.
Enough of this douchebaggery already.
Where is our Margaret Thatcher, we need you now! (for those that aren’t familiar with the Winter of Discontent (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of_Discontent), simplistically the UK was being held to ransom by the unions, worse that we are now, and Mrs Thatcher made the hard decisions and put things right, over time.)
Enough is enough
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