Are trade unions a force for good or bad in SA?

In the wake of the recent South African Airways (SAA) strike where unions and the airline had to go for mediation at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) for an agreement to be reached.

RELATED: Union telling public not to fly SAA is not OK - Parly Public Enterprises comm

Eusebius McKaiser facilitates debate on whether trade unions are a force for good or bad in South Africa with Wits University vice-chancellor Adam Habib, Business Maverick journalist Ed Stoddard and Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) spokesperson Sizwe Pamla.

I am a great supporter of unions generally and I don't believe that in many parts of the world you would have got social democracy without unions playing a check and balance role against political and economic elites in society.

Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor - Wits University

When unions lose their sense of pragmatism, they overplay their hand, Habib says.

I worry that sometimes our unions are overplaying their hand. I think that society is increasingly tired of the fact that strike after strike become violent. Union leaders who claim they have nothing to do with the violence are implicitly complicit in creating a culture of violence.

Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor - Wits University

He says sometimes unions refuse to understand competing imperatives, the survival of a business and economy with the what workers demand.

Pamla believes that unions are a force for good in South Africa.

However, with everything that involves humans, there are imperfections and unions sometimes do make mistakes. Unions have been progressive in South Africa, however, a lot needs to be improved including infighting of unions.

Sizwe Pamla, Spokesperson - Cosatu

Stoddard agrees with Habib and says at times unions have had an overreach in recent history in South Africa.

At the same time, there have been examples where unions have reached a compromise. Most recently in the platinum sector, Amcu which is known for its militancy reached an above-inflation wage increase deal.

Ed Stoddard, Journalist - Business Maverick

Listen below to the full conversation:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
How to get rid of stigma and thrive while living with HIV

How to get rid of stigma and thrive while living with HIV

Eusebius McKaiser chats to brothers Thula and Ntokozo Mkhize on how people can accept and cope with the virus.

10 anger types that escalate to gender-based violence in relationships

10 anger types that escalate to gender-based violence in relationships

Clinical sexologist Dr Eve says words stick and do not heal as fast as wounds.

'Since Ramaphosa became president Motsepe has become bizarre,' says caller

'Since Ramaphosa became president Motsepe has become bizarre,' says caller

Callers react to businessman Patrice Motsepe telling Donald Trump that Africa loves the US president.

Our position on SOEs has always been nuanced - Cosatu

Our position on SOEs has always been nuanced - Cosatu

Spokesperson Sizwe Pamla says they have not changed their views on privatisation and that strategic sectors should be left alone.

'We believe there is a real chance to turn SAA around' - cabin crew union

'We believe there is a real chance to turn SAA around' - cabin crew union

SA Cabin Crew Association president Zazi Nsibanyoni-Mugambi explains unions' plan to make up remaining 2.1% of salary increase.

[LISTEN] Mediation to continue despite agreement between unions and SAA

[LISTEN] Mediation to continue despite agreement between unions and SAA

A task team will be set up to address issues around the work environment at the state-owned airline, in-sourcing and more.

Popular articles
[UPDATE] No fatalities in N1 north bus fire

[UPDATE] No fatalities in N1 north bus fire

Passengers and JMPD give details of what led to the fire on the bus.

[VIDEO] Family saved from being hit by speeding SUV goes viral

[VIDEO] Family saved from being hit by speeding SUV goes viral

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

'Hanekom's departure is shocking and disappointing'

'Hanekom's departure is shocking and disappointing'

ANC stalwart Mavuso Msimang dissects the recent spate of resignations by the party's Members of Parliament.

 AfriForum says its willing to meet with the EFF to discuss the land issue

AfriForum says its willing to meet with the EFF to discuss the land issue

Deputy CEO Ernst Roets says while they have not received a formal meeting invitation, they are open to engaging with the party.