Labour Wrap: Something's gotta give

Cape Town - There has been quite a significant change in attitude generally by among the public, and there seems to be a much greater awareness of what can be done to stop the problems on the labour and economic front, says Terry Bell in his Labour Wrap this week.

This, says Bell, is summed up by a respondent on the Q&A forum on this platform who said: "We will eat strikes and sleep protests until something changes."

This sort of sentiment has come through from all sorts of people in different sectors, and encompasses the idea of how can we get something to change.

In the middle of this came a well researched argument for paternity leave, which ties in very neatly with the argument that the underlying problem we face with unemployment and the economy is that of population growth.

Bell says the labour movement generally maintains that the problem is not one of population but of distribution of resources that already exist; labour points out that the system itself encourages massive waste.

The growth in population is not the cause of poverty and unemployment, but it is an argument that is becoming more widespread. He quotes Fin24 user Glyn Morgan who feels that the debate about the relationship between poverty and population growth needs to be “stirred”.

Bell quotes another Fin24 follower, Hannes Piek who also waded into the fray stating:  “Earth as we know it can only sustain a number of people, and if we transgress this number we are in dire straits.”  

While acknowledging that this is an important debate, Bell disagrees. He quotes Gandhi: “The earth has enough for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed.”

This topic will be the focus of Bell’s Inside Labour column tomorrow on the Fin24 platform and, in print, in the Business Section of City Press on Sunday.

 - Fin24

What do you think? Drop us an email if you have any thoughts on this sensitive issue, or if you have any other questions for Terry.

* Terry Bell is a political, economic and labour analyst. Views expressed are his own. Follow him on twitter @telbelsa.

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