Picture: Alon Skuy
Picture: Alon Skuy

"Adapt or Die" (Cover Story, October 3-9) — about the influence of the trade union movement and the reasons for its decline — made no mention of the union movement’s inflexibility and failing to understand the technology that is changing the face of commerce and industry.

Also, the unions have become fragmented, with 213 affiliates with poor administrators vying for power, and an antiquated mindset of "them and us" resulting in 132 work stoppages, leading to unemployment and a large drop in membership. This suggests the movement has failed the people it represents.

Furthermore, despite its antagonism towards the free-market system, it gladly embraces it in forming investment arms to raise capital for bursary schemes, medical aid and insurance offerings. In so doing, it realises the benefits of private business operations.

With the recently introduced regulation allowing members a secret strike ballot, the unions will have less say in deciding outcomes, and with legislation on minimum wages, health and safety laws, and fair employment practices — and the fourth industrial revolution — the unions will eventually become redundant.

The question that needs to be asked is what have the "comrades" contributed to the country’s development. The union movement has not encouraged its members to be more productive, or less hostile and belligerent. It has failed to denounce the violence of its members in destroying property, foolishly thinking intimidation will force employers to meet their demands.

Simply put, there is just not enough talent to sustain the union movement.

Ted O’Connor