South Africa’s institutionalised collective bargaining system is rapidly growing and becoming unresponsive to the needs of the lower earning workers in a low wage regime where two thirds of the labour force earns less than the mining sector’s median earnings, President of mining labour union, AMCU, Joseph Mathunjwa, says.
“Inflation has perpetuated “slave wages in South Africa’s economy and attempts to collectively bargain outside the orthodox parameters is regarded as radical and militant. This creates uncertainties to those who have benefitted from the system,” he explains.
Mathunjwa believes that trade unions have over the years been “marshals of their own oppressions”, legitimising the exploitation of workers by forcing them to conform with institutional mechanism which they do not have control over.
“Analysis of the geology of unemployment in SA shows an economy that has a history of high unemployment levels due to structural constraints. The economy has failed to create jobs despite there being a commodity boom; while employers were enjoying so much of their profits while the country did not achieve full employment between year 2000 and 2007,” he adds.
Source: Adapted for African Mining Brief Online from Bizcommunity News