Are trade unions still serving the interest of the workers?

May 1 marks International Workers Day which is celebrated by 80 countries across the globe.

According to labour columnist at Fin24, Terry Bell, trade unions have a difficulty defining themselves and what they stand for in the post democratic South Africa.

CapeTalk/702's Eusebius Mckaiser spoke to Bell, looking at the roles and responsibilities of trade unions as workers day is celebrated in various cities across the country.

One of the problems is that trade unions don't seem to have woken up from the realities of the 21st century

Terry Bell, labour columnist at Fin24

More and more workers are in fact becoming unemployable as the digital revolution and artificial intelligence rolls on and this is something trade unions haven't taken cognisance on.

Terry Bell, labour columnist at Fin24

Bell says he thinks trade unions should be inclusive and never be aligned to a particular ideology political party.

He says perhaps its time they went back to the principles they started off with that every office bearer should not only be elected but could be recalled by the members at anytime, and that non of them should earn more than a maximum pay of any worker.

They should merely come together, bringing together workers as workers

Terry Bell, labour columnist at Fin24

Let the political parties compete for the support of the union movements on the basis of their policies but let the unions remain independent either giving or withholding their support

Terry Bell, labour columnist at Fin24

Listen below to hear more of this conversation with Terry Bell:

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