Business uneasy by nature of SA strikes

Aug 17 2012 16:06
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Johannesburg – SA’s business sector is calling for an investigation into why industrial action in the country is becoming increasingly violent.

The call from business leaders follows the violence at Lonmin’s Marikana mine in which more than 30 people have died.

The Black Business Council (BBC) called for an all-encompassing judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the general conduct of industrial action in “a democratic SA”‚ and in particular to look at the underlying causes of the crisis at Lonmin [JSE:LON].

“In particular the judicial commission of inquiry should answer the fundamental question: why is industrial action‚ be it legal or unprotected‚ becoming increasingly violent?” BBC secretary Sandile Zungu said.

“We condemn‚ in the strongest terms possible‚ the violence and deaths that occurred in the area around the Lonmin-owned Marikana mine. We express our deepest condolences to the families of the workers and the policemen who lost their lives‚” Zungu said.

South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) CEO Neren Rau said Sacci was disturbed by the loss of life and ongoing violence at the mine.

Sacci called on the leadership of the labour unions to engage in peaceful talks to prevent any further loss of life and injuries.

“The tragic events of the past week cast a negative light over SA and the willingness of stakeholders to enter robust debate‚” Rau said.

Sacci expressed concern that industrial action in the country was increasingly becoming synonymous with violence and intimidation.

“The rights and obligations of workers during industrial action are an important element of SA’s regulatory regime and have far-reaching consequences on the long-term economic growth of the country‚” Rau noted.

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