Something that I have never understood about the Labour Union Movement, is how the ordinary Union member can hand over the negotiation of his or her salary package to a group of highly paid, high-living, “labour leaders”. The concept of “Collective Bargaining” surely favours the Employer rather than the Workers? At least that is, in wage negotiations.
Where a company operating in a free market would reward a hard worker with a higher wage and perks, when negotiating with a union, the Employer looks at the workforce as one amorphous body. Both the hard workers and the lazy are all treated the same, and this is a shame. Wage negotiations, from the Employer’s persepctive, are also simplified, and one could, especially in a South African context, always fall back on the Reserve Banks inflation target.
The hard, diligent worker on the other hand, if negotiating on his own, would stress his diligence, his high work output and probably score an “above-inflation” increase. Not so in collective bargaining, so why bother to wotk any harder, you’ll still get the same negotiated increase?
Today we enter a new week in the strike by State workers, and I wonder if the sheep out there marching and picketing realise that this strike has nothing to do with giving them an extra R250 per month, after tax in their pockets (yes, in most cases this is all it actually boils down to), but more with Political maneuvering ahead of the ANC Presidential nominations later on in the year.
If the strike lasts two weeks, the average State Employee, earning R6500 pm, could forfeit R3250 in salary, and assuming that they eventually get say a 9% increase (R7020 pa), this will only net him an annual increase of R3770. If he had accepted the States initial offer of 6% he would have got R4 680. Now where is the logic here?
On the other hand, these strikes do provide the more sedentary workers with some exercise in the form of toy-toying and tyre-burning.