Do you think labour unions make a positive contribution in South Africa?

Do you think labour unions make a positive contribution in South Africa?

  • Yes

    Votes: 15 9.9%
  • No

    Votes: 137 90.1%

  • Total voters
    152

rpm

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Do you think labour unions make a positive contribution in South Africa? Do you think their actions protect workers or harm the economy?
 

Sinbad

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This question calls for a bit of generalization...

There are some unions that genuinely seem to represent workers' best interests. However the majority (the ones who seem to be aligned with communist type organizations) seem to be hell bent on firstly using their members as a political hammer to shape government policy and secondly to fck their workers over as much as possible by destroying the economy and the worker's value proposition, holding back progress.

In addition, you're asking an either or question, with a yes/no answer. Doesn't work. Yes they protect workers or yes they harm the economy?
 
Last edited:

McT

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Like @Sinbad says, there are a few who do good for their patrons. For me at least, to answer the poll would be dishonest. There ought to be another option that credits the unions who are not using their workers for self-enrichment and politics.
 

Kosmik

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waaaay to black and white. Personally, yes there is a need for them but also no, a lot of times they are just wrong. I would say between 10-20% genuine and 80% gouging.
 

konfab

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With the current labour legislation: no.

If they changed a few things in the legislation, they would be a force for good.
1) Minimum wage should be set by local municipalities.
2) If they want such a concept like a legal strike, they have to:
a ) Assume all responsibility for damages to property that arise from the strike.
b ) Have to have a secret ballot.
3) Else get rid of the concept of a legal strike. In other words, if a bunch of people strike, the employer can choose to fire them.
4) Get rid of closed shop agreements.

Duties of a union should actually be the following:
1) Ensure that legal employment contracts are signed with all workers.
2) Ensure that the terms of the contracts are actually upheld by the employer.
3) Provide ancillary services to their members, for example, instead of the state providing UIF, it is done via a union. This makes unions fiscally liable for unemployment that their actions might cause.
 

ToxicBunny

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Way way too black and white a question...

In general, the answer would be no, but there are aspects of the Unions that are very beneficial and positive.
 

Brian_G

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For the country's majority, I think they've got more value than not having them.
 

3WA

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1.) They should apologise unreservedly for their past political meddling AND agree to bear the brunt of the consequences of their past political actions (i.e. politically affiliated unions should be the first to make sacrifices to stabilise the national budget).
2.) They should avoid all political affiliation or action in the future.
3.) They can focus on what they're supposed to do - labour issues.
 

John Tempus

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Majority of unions simply exist to find issues in order to keep their members fees rolling in.

Majority of unions actually do not want solutions because that would nullify their existence.

Majority of unions is nothing more than a mafia syndicate with a different approach to protection money.
 

Düber

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I fear most of them are just subscription based business models, you don't seem to hear many good stories with the word union in them.
 

Flarsiep

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People strike even before the wages are announced. And they do not get paid.
so a week long strike and that is 25% of their monthly wages gone. and that for a 2% or 3% more of an increase.
But they will work for a long time to make up the week's lost.
And the strikes always turn violent, always damage to property or someone being assaulted.

That is the picture coming from the news. If they are doing good somewhere, then it ain't being reported on in the mainstream. but given the bit i see, it would be hard to believe them doing any good.
 

Cius

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On average in SA the bad vastly outweighs the good. Just SADTU's evil outweighs every other positive with how they have destroyed education. That being said some unions are better. However in SA the main unions we all now about are generally holding the country back and to ransom most of the time at humongous cost to our economy.
 

konfab

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In principle - Yes.

"in South Africa" - No.
I hate this type of thinking.

In principle, jumping out a building with a potato on your head will cause you to float. Don't bother to update the theory based on what you actually observe.
 

krycor

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I hate this type of thinking.

In principle, jumping out a building with a potato on your head will cause you to float. Don't bother to update the theory based on what you actually observe.
So the reality is that e.g. this lock down would a lot worse without some of the labor laws. Imagine we had a more US like system which led to firing and (hopefully) rehiring of staff when lock down ends? would you be ok?

The political aspects of the unions in SA is one of many frustrations here.. legally they not allowed yet they almost always throw their weight around in politics. <-- that needs to be killed off and fast. my suspicion is that this is only possible is government is not in the employment business which is hard to do when private organisations have a profit at all cost goal.

My suspicion is there will be limits put in place at some point prior to gov relinquishing its role in labor. This would not be new and can be seen even in places like Nzl which did the same to turn around their economy... but they had access to the Queens piggybank
 

jouda

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No, not at all. I was retrenched a few years ago and the unions were absolutely useless. The one group of unions wanted to strike without even listening and in the end achieved nothing. The other union, Solidarity, did not even know who their affected members were.
 

Ancalagon

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Unions are necessary in society, but the balance of power is too far in favour of the unions at the moment, in South Africa. The problem with this is that this is actually detrimental to the workers who are part of unions.

The state should reform UIF law so that your union contributions go into a pool that is used to support workers who don't earn money during a strike. This would provide the incentive for unions to resolve strikes quickly for the good of both the company and the employees.

Also, are unions for-profit organisations, or not-for-profit? They should not be allowed to be for-profit organisations.
 
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