Is government about to set a precedent with this strike that could cause even more pain later?
For a little background as to where I'm about to come from, let's consider this extract.
This strike has gone on for quite a while. It has been marked by a callous disregard by labour for human life, health and well-being, the LRA, the rights of workers who want to work and a number of other individual rights. It has shut down schools that could have carried on teaching by means most foul, including private schools who have no members of staff on government payroll. It has seen people driven away by strikers from hospitals that might have been able to help them otherwise in their moment of most dire need.Cosatu: Strikers not getting tired
There is no sign that public servants are getting tired as their pay strike enters its third week, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Monday.
"The strike continues ... there is no sign that workers are getting tired; instead they are more angry," he told a Cosatu conference in Boksburg.
Vavi said the industrial action would only end once a deal beneficial to workers had been struck.
"We want the strike to end as soon as possible. We want it to end in terms that would be more beneficial to workers," Vavi said. "The strike continues as long as that has not happened."
Vavi said he never expected the strike to reach 16 days.
He said he thought the strike would only last for two days before government came up with a resolution.
full story from M&G here
Government made a stand at one point by dismissing unprotected workers. And has talked up a tough storm.
I suspect that many of us have some sympathy with labour on the percentage of the increase. It is a tough issue - there needs to be balance - but government can't ignore that the real cost of living has increased far more than their chosen indicator, CPIX. Government cannot continue to bury its head in the sand on this.
But now it isn't just pay on the table. Perhaps unsurprisingly we also have reinstatement of the dismissed workers and paying the strikers for their time whilst out on strike. And these are the very things that ordinarily bring pressure to bear on the parties to act responsibly in terms of the LRA - some semblance of balance between labour and business.
Does government have the resolve to stand by its own labour framework?
And if not, what are the consequences for future wage negotiations if government caves on these points?