“And so, it seems inevitable that strike action will continue to increase, predominantly in the public sector but also elsewhere, until there is a “high noon”, or else some sort of agreed moderation in wage settlements, such as a national wage accord . . . “.

Andrew Levy, a labour economist and labour law adviser, wrote an article in Business Day earlier this week on Wage conflict.   After pointing out that union power and potential should not be taken lightly and that COSATU affiliates have shown that they have the will and ability to keep members out on strike until their demands are met Andrew Levy makes the following observations:

“For our purposes, two important observations flow from this.   This first is that such increases were won after strike action, and the second that these levels of settlement in turn affect expectations of future settlement, not only in the public sector but in the private sector as well.   If nothing else, these expectations will add upward buoyancy to the strike trend line”.