Unions strike a toll at Group 5’s public clients

Image courtesy Stock.xchnge

Image courtesy Stock.xchnge

Group Five suffered a 30% increase to 78 465 in man days lost so far this year to strike action, most of which were unprotected, Junaid Allie, human resource director said yesterday.

Allie said Group Five was most probably better off than its peers, since it was not involved in the Medupi-project where labour instability paralysed the site for months earlier this year.

Of the 16 strikes Group Five had to contend with, only two were procedural, namely the strike in the civil engineering industry as part of the industry wage negotiations and one at its manufacturing subsidiary Everite. These were also the biggest strikes during the period, Allie said.

He said union representation has decreased over the years and currently stands at only 15% of the workforce of 13 719. The National Union of Mineworkers has the biggest representation.

The large number of non-unionised employees and the increase in the number of unions that represent employees from 5 to 10 since 2009 had increased the complexity of the negotiating environment, Allie said. Strikes and demands are more visible due to the high-profile nature of national projects and public sector clients.




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