Unions’ greed in wage ne­go­ti­a­tions adds to SA’s eco­nomic down­fall

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - COMMENT -

THE RE­PORT “Hikes will push up job losses” (Week­end Ar­gus, Au­gust 15) refers. Ade­naan Har­dien, chief econ­o­mist at Cadiz As­set Man­age­ment, main­tains that the wage de­mands from trade unions would ul­ti­mately re­sult in higher wages for some, and more job losses for oth­ers, ac­count­ing for the far higher Stats SA un­em­ploy­ment fig­ure of 23.6, if the dis­cour­aged work­ers num­ber­ing more than 300 000 were in­cluded.

Har­dien warns that wage in­creases when the econ­omy is as weak as it is at present, are likely to worsen an al­ready dis­as­trous sit­u­a­tion. This in­junc­tion is echoed by Pro­fes­sor Ben Smit, di­rec­tor of the Bureau of Eco­nomic Re­search at the Uni­ver­sity of Stel­len­bosch who says that to pro­vide high wage in­creases em­ploy­ers will have to cut back on em­ploy­ment to keep the wage bill man­age­able.

Wage in­creases above 10 per­cent will make things worse. If ad­justed down­wards with inflation, things will be bet­ter.

Now hav­ing di­gested all that, I can­not re­sist the thought that the trade unions are ac­tu­ally work­ing against the well-be­ing of the na­tion.

It is they who are rais­ing the ex­pec- tations of work­ers, fu­elling the en­ti­tle­ment mind­set and en­dan­ger­ing the fu­ture of the coun­try by per­sist­ing in ac­tions that are detri­men­tal to its well-be­ing.

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