The trade union movement is in a state of flux, with concepts such as centralised bargaining and the “winner takes all” approach of majority — 50 per cent plus one — unionism now being challenged. “Agency shop” agreements whereby majority unions take a slice of the subscriptions paid by members of smaller unions, let alone the much bigger question of party political alignments are also being seriously debated.
At the best of times, grassroots democracy, without sound communications infrastructure and the distribution of accurate information, can be a messy business. Add to this, dollops of rumour, some perceptions bordering on paranoia, various interest groups promoting different agendas, a history of distrust and memories of recent bloodshed and you have Marikana and much of the platinum belt today.
Low-income earners are people who are unemployed or those making just enough to get by on a single or joint monthly income. What do banks really offer these South Africans?
On Monday Cape Town bus drivers ended their strike after 25 days. They had asked for a wage increase of 18% but settled for a preliminary increase of 9.5% which will increase to 10% from October. What does the strike reveal about how poor people get around in Cape Town, particularly for disabled people?
South Africa ruffled political feathers in April this year, after it made it unlawful for Israeli settlement products sold locally to be labelled as "made in Israel". All products made by Israeli businesses operating illegally in the settlements must now be labelled according to where they were produced in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This is in accordance with international law and South African foreign policy.
That private club of super-rich men, the World Economic Forum (WEF), was back in town this week. In Cape Town to be exact, to persuade, buy up and bully politicians and opinion makers to adopt policies that many trade unionists say are based on the myth that there is no alternative to the present crisis-ridden economic system.
There are many challenges when starting a business. Planning and marketing the business, determining prices, and managing the day to day running are not simple tasks. But entrepreneurs in low-income communities face additional challenges when starting out.
May Day last week should have been a time for reflection, not celebration; reflection about the potentially dire situation the labour movement now finds itself in. It is a situation brought about by tensions largely resulting from the ongoing global economic crisis that has impacted on every aspect of society. To help with this reflection, Business Report is this week making available copies of my book, Right to Fight, to the first five correct answers drawn from responses to the question below.
Politics and personal ambition compounded by some sloppy journalism have clouded and confused the issues surrounding the bitter internecine feud within Cosatu and the governing ANC-led alliance. This has also confused the legitimate complaints that teachers have about the state of education in South Africa and the way the system is being administered.
Telkom is being accused of dismissing 23 learner interns without pay. The matter is going to the CCMA.