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Strikes come at a cost

Aug 10 2010 15:24

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Johannesburg - Any strike action comes at a cost to the economy and the country, Business Unity South Africa (Busa) CEO Jerry
Vilakazi told I-Net Bridge on Tuesday.
   
His comments came as thousands of public sector workers on Tuesday marched in different parts of the country over wages.
   
Unions had on Tuesday given government only a few hours to respond to their demands for an 8.6% wage increment and a R1 000 housing allowance before deciding on further action. Government is offering a 7% wage increment and a R630 housing allowance.
   
If their demands are not met, over one million public sector workers could embark on a full blown strike.
   
"We think that strikes in general, where possible, should be avoided," said Vilakazi.
   
Analysts have questioned whether government can afford to up its offer, given that its coffers are strained following increased spending that had to take place to lessen the effects of the recession on the economy, commitments it made under the Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSD) and the pressure these factors have put on the budget deficit.
  
Vilakazi said it would be unfair to pinpoint who should compromise between government and labour but added that as Busa they were confident that a resolution would be found.
   
"I think the solution lies with both parties. We believe govern negotiators and union negotiators have got the capacity.
   
"If you look at where they are, they're not very far apart from each other. With both parties' willingness and commitment, I'm confident there will be a solution," he noted.
   
- I-Net Bridge
jerry vilakazi  |  public sector strike  |  busa
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