LABOUR: Cosatu's Blunt Instruments
Recent Western Cape Business News
COSATU has been unable to support its aggressive demands for workers and changes in economic policy with sound arguments and is now trying to bully the country with threats of strikes and boycotts in order to advance its own agenda, says the Cape Chamber of Commerce.
“Resorting to blunt instruments to win arguments is never successful,” said Michael Bagraim, President of the Chamber. “Even if the clubbing gets results it leaves festering wounds and it undermines future co-operation.”
He said there were areas where the Cosatu members had right on their side and the Chamber would like to work with them to bring about meaningful improvements. One of them was the fight against corruption which should be seen as a national priority.
Bagraim said that when it came to matters like economic policy, the only way forward was through sound argument and reasoning. “A bad idea does not become a good one simply because it is supported by mass demonstrations.”
The arguments against labour brokers, for instance, had been characterised by wild and extravagant claims of exploitation and slavery. Counter arguments and evidence were dismissed as lies and little progress was possible in these circumstances.
“I suspect the real problem is that Cosatu unions are losing membership and they are finding it hard to recruit new members, particularly among those who do contract work arranged by employment and other agencies.
“If we are to find a way forward and create jobs for the growing legion of the unemployed we need a debate and an exchange of ideas and research so that there can be a meeting of minds. We will achieve nothing worthwhile by shouting at each other and issuing threats,” Bagraim said.
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