Pig-headedness during strikes has cost us

2015-08-27 06:00

MY late friend Bob was a youngster at the time of the Great Depression in the thirties.

Bob spoke of the tension in the family when one morning his father left for work at a large Johannesburg firm. That day, the firm’s management and workers had to decide on the way forward. The business had to cut costs or collapse. This meant that workers would be retrenched, desperate times.

Waiting at the garden gate with his anxious mother, they saw his father peddling down the road in the evening light. “Good news,” he shouted, “we’re all taking a cut in salary, we’re keeping our jobs.”

The pig-headedness and frequent violence­ associated with strikes in this country have cost us more than I like to think.

I wish that from MDs to minimum wage earners, people would think about the outcome of their demands and behaviour.


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