THE breakdown in the wage negotiations between transport workers and the road freight industry will produce only losers, says the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“There will be no pay for workers while they are out on strike and even if they get the increases they are demanding the higher pay will not compensate for the loss of earnings,” said
Mr Michael Bagraim, President of the Chamber.
At the same time transport companies would be losing money while their trucks stood idle and these losses would ruin any chance of them paying the higher wages at the end of the strike.
“It is a lose-lose situation,” said Mr Bagraim. “In fact, the losses will spread to other industries and their workers as the flow of goods slows down and factories have to close because they cannot ship out finished products or bring in new raw material supplies.”
He appealed for some constructive long-term thinking. “The short-term gains in the form of increases above the rate of inflation will quickly disappear and then we will all be worse off.
“I would like to see employers and unions sit down together and analyse the effect and cost of the strike to both workers and companies as well as the unintended consequences that will ripple right through the economy,” Mr Bagraim said.
He said it was time unions and employers acted together to get the industrial relations system back on track. “It is in everybody’s interest to make sure that the bargaining system works in an orderly manner,” he said.