File photo: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO
File photo: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO

John Harwood writes in “Unions Have Lost the Plot” (April 8) that “next [the trade unions] will be trying to stop the fourth industrial revolution, artificial intelligence and robotics”.

It is important for him to know, and for South Africans to understand, that our trade union movement is already trying to destroy any sort of computerisation and/or mechanisation.

Even the concepts of Uber and Airbnb have been attacked, both at the CCMA and the Labour Court. The unions are hell-bent on calling for more regulation and more onerous terms and conditions of employment.

As we move into the fourth industrial revolution we have seen that the workforce of the future is going to be self-employed and completely reliant on productivity and output.

The nanny state will eventually become a thing of the past, and unless the labour department starts to internalise the nature of real job creation we are going to just add to the 10-million South Africans who are already unemployed.

Michael Bagraim, MP, DA shadow labour minister