Unions cautioned on effect of strikes

2013-10-16 08:36

Trade unions must be aware of the consequences strike action has on the economy and can no longer act with impunity, Anglo American Platinum CEO Chris Griffith has said.

“It is a fact that unions will have to take more responsibility for the economic outcomes of their actions,” he was quoted as saying in Business Day today.

“It is not possible that we can continue with these kinds of strikes, which are having an effect not only on the mining sector but all sectors of the economy. It’s hurting the economy.”

It was not about denying the right to strike, but there had to be more time spent by unions analysing the impact of strikes on jobs.

According to the report, Cadiz Corporate Solutions’ Peter Major said the intertwined relationship between the government and unions was poisonous for the economy.

“This is definitely the wrong government for the country because they’re in tight with the unions and everything they do is collective,” Major said.

“There is no flexibility in this labour force. We’ve got to start dealing with reality here. We’ve got to start thinking out of the box or we’re going to have the majority of these mines closing.”

On October 10, a strike by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) over retrenchments at Amplats ended.

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