Union leaders use workers for fame, fortune

Cosatu's call to workers to protest against the sharp rise in food prices is illogical. It will not benefit the poor, but will exacerbate the situation. I am not disputing the value of protests, but I'm very concerned about the timing.

Cosatu's call to workers to protest against the sharp rise in food prices is illogical. It will not benefit the poor, but will exacerbate the situation. I am not disputing the value of protests, but I'm very concerned about the timing.

It has been a tradition of some Cosatu leaders to embark on protests for opportunistic reasons when they want to regain popularity.

It is a fact that high prices are affecting mainly the poor. My advice to Cosatu is to first engage the government to implement laws to prevent price rises prompted by greed.

Encouraging workers to toyi-toyi will not yield any positive results. Experience has shown that since 1994, Cosatu strikes have resulted in job losses and destruction of the economy, and little has been achieved from protests.

The no-work, no-pay policy agreed on by Cosatu and Nedlac in 1995 is a dilemma for workers who have to sacrifice salaries while union leaders get their full salaries. The challenge is for workers to stop union leaders who propagate stay-aways in order to earn recognition in the ANC leadership battle.

Many Cosatu leaders who were deployed by the government have forgotten about workers' rights. Zwelinzima Vavi is spending sleepless nights worrying about a cabinet post in Zuma's presidency. Poor workers must reject being manipulated by union leaders whose ambition is to enrich themselves.

Jabulani Makhanya, Alexandra

X