Cosatu's Cape strike 'counterproductive'

The Cape Chamber of Commerce says Cosatu’s planned protests for August won’t work.

Electricity pylon. Picture: Michelle Lubbe/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Wednesday strike action, which the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in the Western Cape is threatening to embark on, will be counterproductive.

The trade union federation earlier this week said it will take to the streets in August to raise concerns around issues like the recent eight percent electricity tariff hike.

Cosatu in the Western Cape together with affiliates are threatening to strike if the provincial government does not engage with them on issues affecting the working class.

The chamber's Michael Bagraim said the planned industrial action won't work.

"The chamber is calling on the union movement to be far more responsible and to enter into negotiations and discussions. We certainly don't believe that it is productive in any way for a union movement to call for a wildcat strike when in fact the economy is suffering badly."

He added, "These calls for strikes will create a negative perception in the world of commerce that will certainly create a disastrous perception in the international community, the investment community and local business."

At a briefing in Cape Town on Wednesday, the trade union federation called for the minimum wage to be set at R4,500 a month.

Electricity price hikes, education and gang violence were some of the issues raised by union officials.

The strike is expected to take place at the end of July.