Some of union federation Cosatu’s economic proposals would be laughable if they were not so destructive to the economy (“Cosatu proposes wider economic reforms on top of its Eskom rescue”, January 30). For instance, calling a proposal from our finance minister “antiworker” when he suggested stopping the extension of collective bargaining agreements to small businesses is disingenuous.
What the union is doing is protecting those few workers who remain in jobs, by ensuring they get higher wages. Cosatu has no interest in the unemployed, nor sympathy for those who will be retrenched because of the extension of these bargaining council agreements. Decoupling small businesses from the bargaining councils would save hundreds of thousands of jobs and bring new entrants into the employment arena.
One of its most startling proposals is to try to hijack funds invested by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to throw into the black hole that is the dysfunctional Eskom. In addition to state employees’ pensions, some of those funds are intended to cover workmen’s compensation and unemployment fund claims.
It is inevitable that parastatals will have to retrench sooner or later. I specifically asked the employment & labour ministry whether there would be sufficient funds in the PIC to cover mass retrenchments, and await an answer.
Michael Bagraim, MP
DA deputy employment & labour spokesperson
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