Guiding consumers since 2009

More job shedding while trade unions face a crisis

By Staff Writer

 

South Africa’s employment fell by an annual rate of 0.2% in April 2013 according to the latest Adcorp Employment Index.
 
The index showed that the economy shed 3 220 jobs in April 2013, with most of them coming from the permanent and full-time work sector.
While 5 891 jobs were created in the informal sector, employment in the formal sector fell by 9 111 jobs.
 
Job losses were largely focussed on the retail and wholesale trade, and the transport and logistics sectors – which lost 6000 and 5 000 jobs respectively.
 
“Although these job losses were largely offset by job creation in the government sector – which created approximately 6 000 jobs, the demand for high-skilled workers remains strong. The economy shed 18 000 low-skilled jobs during the period, and created 16 000 high-skilled jobs,” said Loane Sharp, Labour Economist for Adcorp. 
 
Trade Unions face losing members
 
Analysis of South Africa’s trade unions also revealed that the sector is in crisis. According to Sharpe, only one in four workers (25.5% of the workforce) is unionised, and this figure is declining slowly but steadily.
 
“Only 43% of the people who join the workforce for the first time are joining trade unions. In South Africa’s five most populous sectors – trade, finance, manufacturing, construction and private households, which account for two-thirds of total employment in South Africa – the unionisation rate is just 11.0%,” he added.
 
Membership is dominated by the public sector which reflects increased union figures – up to 1.7 million since 2000. This is in stark contrast to membership from the private sector workforce – down from 1.79 million to 1.76 million.
 
“The retail and finance sectors, which historically have provided high rates of job growth, are maintaining union membership. However, the percentage is low – only 8-9% of employees who join these workforces join the unions,” said Sharp.
 
In sectors where government plays a significant role, figures show a clear picture of high union membership – above 75% in both mining and government.
 
Sharpe added that with labour unrest remaining high, trade unions have a number of challenges ahead – high organising and canvassing costs, encroachment from rival trade unions, low turnout and participation rates during strikes, and the tactical use of violence and intimidation of non-members.
 
“All factors indicate a bleak future for trade unions – the weakness of the domestic economy continues to place pressure on the worker/employer relationship.

In addition, constraints on consumer pockets may make union members rethink their R754 annual contribution to union subscriptions and dues,” said Sharpe.

Recent Articles

Featured It’s possible to change your marriage regime

Many people wed before they sign an antenuptial contract (ANC). This is especially practiced by people in customary marriages and those not clued up about the ANC. The law says if there’s no ANC before the wedding takes place, the marriage will automatically be in Community of Property. 

Keep this in mind when taking out new financial products

Adding a product to your personal finance portfolio, such as insurance or an investment, is a big decision. We found out what you should keep in mind before taking out a new product, how you can assess the products you already have, and how you can generally improve your financial position.

Are you in debt denial?

With debt levels increasing at 13% more than income levels, South Africans are more debt-stressed now than arguably ever before. This is iterated by the National Credit Regulator’s (NCR) report that nearly half of credit-active consumers in South Africa have damaged credit records. However, only a few seek the necessary help.

Why should you invest in a mutual bank?

Often when people think about banking, they always think about commercial banks. Mutual banks hardly come to mind, but these banks offer investment opportunities that are often overlooked.

 

Deals

Aurora Spa 100-minute Treatment Special

Price: R449
When: Until 31 March
Where: Century City

Woodstock Grill and Tap Steak Thursdays

Price: R100
When: Thursdays
Where: Woodstock

KFC 5+5 Special

Price: R65
When: Until 25 February 2020
Where: Nationwide