The ANC Youth League has called on Cosatu and all workers to tighten their belts as the country battles to survive the effects of the global financial downturn.
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema said this week that in the light of the National Treasury confirming that the country's economy was in recession, workers should try to be be part of the solution - instead of making the economic situation worse.
Malema's call comes on the back of a threat by Cosatu secretary Zwelinzima Vavi that the country could soon face its biggest wage strikes since 1994.
Vavi is scheduled to meet ministers in the finance cluster this week to discuss ways of resolving any industrial action.
Malema said rolling out strikes in all provinces was not a solution to the problems expected as the country sinks deeper into recession.
"[Salary increases] may be different this year and the workers will have to understand the economic conditions we find ourselves in."
He also called for bail outs of individuals and their businesses.
"If the government is considering to bail out big corporates, it must also find a strategy to bail out individuals," he said.
"It cannot only be big business because there are many individuals in South Africa who are losing houses."