Organised labour blamed for extended strikes

Minister Oliphant has blamed organised labour and the business community for extended strikes.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) during strike in northern Johannesburg on 9 September 2013. Picture: Mbali Sibanyoni/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant says both organised labour and the business community are to blame for the extended period of industrial action which has seen a significant increase over the past few years.

The minister, who is speaking at the 18th annual Nedlac summit in Johannesburg, says an increased number of unprotected strikes have forced businesses, government and the labour sector to go back to the drawing board and negotiate in good faith.

Oliphant is speaking alongside representatives from business, labour, government and communities.

She says the summit must seriously examine the rise in unprotected strikes.

"The rise in unprotected strikes means that we need to go back to the drawing board and revisit the collective bargaining framework and ask some tough questions."

Oliphant also says wage negotiations take far too long to conclude.

"There is this stance that we derail the finalisation of the accruements when dealing with wage negotiations. I wonder why we're allowing that."