Gwede tears into Cosatu

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has criticised the manner in which the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) handled the public sector wage negotiations.

“I don’t think in future it would be wise for Cosatu to be engaged directly in negotiations,” Mantashe said in Johannesburg.

He said he believed it would have been better if all the different public sector trade unions got involved individually in the last round of talks, where government tabled its revised offer.

“The leadership of the unions should take responsibility, they must be hands on.”

Mantashe said Cosatu should only act as the co-ordinating structure.

If more unions were involved directly in the talks, there would be a greater appreciation on the ground of the effort involved in negotiating a better offer, he said.

“They must structure their delegations differently,” said Mantashe.

Public sector unions suspended a 20-day national strike yesterday, after the government tabled a revised offer that included a 7.5% wage increase.

However the state had hoped the strike would have been called off completely after renewed efforts were made to revise the offer.

Mantashe said he believed the unions should have accepted the offer.

“The strike should have been called off,” he said.
 

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