Organised labour in SA needs to step up and fulfil its role in steering the country out of the economic crisis, instead of barking at other stakeholders from the sidelines. It comes as no surprise that the union movement is opposed to most of the government’s policy interventions and proposals, especially those intended to fix the crisis-ridden state-owned enterprises. While the unions’ argument has always been that wholesale changes — such as the unbundling of Eskom — risk destroying jobs, there have been no constructive proposals of alternatives from them, or the Left in general. There has not even been an attempt to strengthen this debate by making an argument for how jobs would be lost as a result of the proposed policies. The main standoff between the government and unions is over President Cyril Ramaphosa’s failure to consult organised labour prior to making the decision that Eskom should be split into three separate entities. Labour is in agreement that Eskom cannot continue ...

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