Stand-off looms

Finweek English Edition - - Thefinweek -

AS TRADE UNIONS af­fil­i­ated to Cosatu dig in their heels for a messy bat­tle with Sta­te­owned util­i­ties Transnet and Eskom over wage in­creases, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han has good rea­son to fear the worst. Pub­lic sec­tor unions have de­manded be­tween 15% and 20% pay hikes, set­ting labour on a col­li­sion course with Govern­ment as Gord­han tries to tighten State spend­ing.

Unions have coun­tered that dou­ble-digit in­creases are rea­son­able, given the vast gap be­tween the low­est and high­est paid. How­ever, an­a­lysts have weighed into labour, ar­gu­ing their de­mands aren’t con­sis­tent with a fall in in­fla­tion to 5,1%. “This isn’t ac­cept­able. It’s a tough eco­nomic cli­mate and pub­lic sec­tor work­ers face the same re­al­ity as the pri­vate sec­tor. At some point Govern­ment needs to get tough and dig in its heels,” says Econometrix Trea­sury Man­age­ment MD Ge­orge Gly­nos.

Trou­ble is, it al­ready has and a stand-off may be closer to the bone than ex­pected.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.