Support bid to save jobs

REGARDLESS of whether anything comes of the joint statement by Zwelinzima Vavi and Bobby Godsell, history will fondly remember the two men's initiative to curb job losses.

REGARDLESS of whether anything comes of the joint statement by Zwelinzima Vavi and Bobby Godsell, history will fondly remember the two men's initiative to curb job losses.

For too long we have bought into the ideological trap that capital and labour can never have a mutually beneficial relationship and that their objectives are mutually exclusive ends. Godsell and Vavi are dispelling these myths.

We wish both men all the strength they will need.

It will undoubtedly be a hardsell to their respective constituencies. We can expect that the left puritans will call Vavi a sell-out for even suggesting that workers endure shorter working hours and wage freezes.

Godsell can expect the market fundamentalists to harangue him for supporting a move in which shareholders will have to take smaller dividends while executives will have to defer or do without their customary huge bonuses.

As the two men say, "we do not suggest that the cuts in these areas are either easy or without consequence, but simply urge that they also be considered". It has always taken a few individuals at opposite ends of the ideological spectrum to find solutions to apparently intractable conflicts of interest.

The final agreement to what became our constitution is a case in point.

Godsell and Vavi cannot do it by themselves. They have made a start and it is now up to all of us to lend our support to their efforts. This should not be limited to praising them but should include constructive criticism where necessary.

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