Public sector unions are facing an existential crisis after the Labour Appeal Court struck them a devastating blow in December, when it ruled that the government does not have to implement the third leg of the 2018 wage deal with the unions because it does not have the money to pay for it.Granted, the original, generous deal was signed under questionable circumstances by staunch Zuma ally Faith Muthambi, the then minister of public service & administration, who, when she was in charge of the communications portfolio, apparently leaked confidential cabinet meeting minutes to the Guptas.But this does not alter the fact that a deal was signed between labour and the state.By April 1 2020, however, as the Covid pandemic wreaked economic havoc, it became clear to labour that the government would not honour the third leg of the deal, simply because it could not afford to. Instead of the promised inflation-linked increase, the state froze wages.The matter shuttled between arbitration and th...

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