This is what happens if the country’s top honcho leads by example: Spending a Trillion Rand in the blink of an eye has made the Greed-Alliance of unions wet their appetite. South Africa’s main public service unions, which collectively represent around 1.3 million workers, have a common position in demanding a 15% salary hike from government, a senior union official said jaust a few minutes ago. Workers also want a R3 000 rand monthly housing allowance and a 28% rise for medical aid contributions, he said. Now this is exactly what Gill Marcus warned about, just before she stepped down. We are not dealing with inflation compensation anymore, we are dealing with extortion!
The recent mining and metal industry strikes have already crippled the industry, so why not putting the final nail into the South African coffin, that was once a blooming economy?
But it is getting even better: NEHAWU, the country’s top public sector health worker union which is part of the alliance, had announced it wanted the same deal for its members on Wednesday. Besides the Public Servants Association (PSA), the largest non-affiliated public service union with around 230 000 members, police union POPCRU, teachers union SADTU and NEHAWU are represented in the bargaining council. “All the major unions … have a common position, demanding a 15% wage increase,” Manie de Clercq, PSA’s deputy general manager stated today.
Government is expected to respond to the opening wage demand next week, in what could be a lengthy negotiation process, likely to run until December. The means of government – opposed to Zuma’s perception – are limited, but it is not likely that unions underatnd this. They are greedy and ready for the final stand in front of empty fiscal coffers.
“No union wants to strike but this cannot be ruled out, it will depend on the flexibility of the parties negotiating,” was said, and which causes great concerns among investors.
Have they never heard the saying: “Never kick a dog, when it’s down”? Well, the economic and fiscal dog in South Africa is down, ready to kick anyway Mr. de Clercq? I hope you do not dare as it may be your final toi toi sealing the fate of the economy!