Browsing All Posts published on »March, 2012«

Doing dirty work, exposing dirty tricks

March 30, 2012

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At the forefront of the fight against local government corruption and maladministration in South Africa are municipal workers, many of them doing dirty, socially necesary labour for wages that are a tiny fraction of what is paid to many managers. This is one aspect of what local trade unions see as a growing social, humanitarian and economic crisis that urgently needs dramatic and radical remedial measures.

Where enforcement, not relaxation of laws, is the way forward

March 22, 2012

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Unlike many countries where trade unions face similar battles, South Africa has good labour laws. The problem is a lack of enforcement at a time when there are calls — and moves around the world — to relax or dispense with legislation protecting the wages and conditions of workers.

The importance of understanding history

March 16, 2012

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We need to know our history in order to understand perhaps where we are today and how we came to be where we are; and we need to understand reality in order to face it and to progress. Such advice seems particularly pertinent in South Africa in these, at first sight, very confusing times.

Unions challenge govt — and the opposition

March 9, 2012

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The mass strike in South Africa on Wednesday, March 9, was only nominally about e-tolling on public roads and the problem of labour brokers. It was, in fact, a challenge to both the government and the parliamentary opposition who both support a system that allows for road tolls and creates an environment in which unscrupulous labour brokers can thrive.