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The recent strikes at Marikana and its tragic loss of lives mark one of the darkest chapters in the history of our country. The ripple effect of what happened at Lonmin mining company may have consequences beyond what is currently foreseen.
Paper, Rolls, Styan, Ashton and Wasserman According to The Economist Intelligence Unit Employees in South Africa currently face considerable erosion in their lifestyle levels and quality of life.
This is due to, among other factors, increases in energy and food costs and the general upward trend in consumer price inflation. Workers seek relief from these economic hardships through the wage negotiation process. The purpose of this article is to gain new insights in establishing the effect of industrial action on the income of workers.
Background According the Gini index, which gives a measure of the degree of inequality in the distribution of family income in a country, South Africa is ranked as one of the most unequal societies in the world.
With South Africa being the largest economy in Africa, employees are becoming more restless in their need to gain better wages. Labour unions have justified their demands for above-inflation wage increases by pointing to the fact that workers need to feel an improvement in their living standards and not just keep abreast with inflation.
Approach and assumptions For the purpose of accessing financial data, it was decided to use a case study approach and to gather the appropriate data from three big South African business institutions that had recent strike activity.
Some general assumptions had to be made to facilitate consistency and comparability of calculations. Case studies The profitability of embarking on a strike, from the viewpoint of the worker, is determinable by using both quantitative and qualitative factors.
In this study we seek to measure only the quantitative gains of industrial action. Each of the three scenarios is based on actual wage negotiations where industrial action was employed by workers as a negotiation tool. These are now briefly discussed. The parties finally agreed on the following: It was widely reported that the economy lost R7 billion as a result of the prolonged strike action.
Although the settlement did result in employees getting a premium above inflation, the industrial action eroded those gains as a result of lost wages incurred during the period.
The industrial action lasted for 13 days and 12, workers engaged in the strike, disrupting train operations of both Metro Rail and Shosholoza Meyl. On settlement of the dispute, the parties agreed on the following: The strike lasted for 8 days. The parties agreed to the following: Table 1 contains a summary of the results and calculations for the three strike actions.
Summary of results of three strike actions Note 1 This annual salary not only includes the increase settled on, but also the wages not earned because of the strike. From Table 1 one can deduce the following: The nominal loss was R4, and the present value of the loss amounts to R4, per worker.
MAMEO In nominal terms workers had a gain of R1, and when the time value of money is taken into account, a net gain of R per worker is calculated. Duration of strikes and breakeven strike days From the calculations contained in Table 1 it is clear that the number of strike days plays an important role in the financial outcome for the worker.
The results for the three case studies are presented in Figure 1.
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The graph clearly shows that there are net gains for strike periods shorter than the breakeven days and net losses for longer strike periods. The findings are that for TRANSNET, purely from a financial perspective, the workers would have been better off if they accepted the initial offer and did not strike.Business Planning: Taxation Exam Room Notes - all key BPT topics summarised and simplified into short form notes.
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