Today's Labour News

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boardroomtableBusiness Report writes that, barely a week after Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene tabled his latest Budget, seven unions in the public service are threatening to strike over a salary increase.  

The current wage agreement expires on 31 March and the unions tabled a demand for a 15% salary increase in September, to which the government responded in December with an offer of a 5.8% increase in line with inflation over three years.  What has angered the unions is that the government cut its offer to 4.8% on Monday, in line with the inflation rate of 4.4% for the year to January.  The seven labour affiliates of Cosatu said on Tuesday: “Since the dawn of the democratic public service collective bargaining dispensation, such bad faith negotiating has never happened.  We had thought by now, labour and the employer had developed trust.”  

The seven Cosatu unions are Sadtu, Nehawu, Popcru, Denosa, Sama, the SA State and Allied Workers Union and the Public and Allied Workers Union of SA.  They called on the government to come back to the negotiating table with a revised offer.  “If the employer fails to adhere to this call, we will act decisively.”  Asked yesterday what this threat meant, Sadtu’s Nkosana Dolopi, who speaks on behalf of the seven unions, said: “We will use our economic power.  The employer is provoking, angering and insulting the workers.  Who will take a downgraded offer?  It has never happened before and will never happen now.”

  • Read this report by Wiseman Khuzwayo, which also deals with the municipal wage talks, at Business Report

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