cement factoryBusiness Day recently reported that Prez Ian Khama of Botswana was becoming increasingly frustrated by the union activity in South Africa, especially the current strikes at the Port of Durban. Durban is the main port of landing for Botswana and delays there mean delays in Botswana. Botswana is currently exploring the options of using Mozambique and Namibia thereby possibly diverting freight away from the Durban port, thereby reducing the workload, thereby possibly reducing the need for some of the current workforce. Prez Ian Khama is reported as saying “Do South African unions know that apartheid ended in 1994? It would appear not”.

There are many pros and cons to the strike issue: fat cat exploitation by management; huge salaries earned by CEO’s; lack of concern for the workforce; large profit margins; lack of productivity by the workforce; workforce expectation that private companies pay a wage large enough to enable employees to support their large families. Surely it comes down to responsibility?

The corporates have a responsibility to provide a decent wage and safe and decent work environment. The employees surely have a responsibility for their own reproduction activities?

Copyright (C) Sue Charlton 2013