To strike, or not to strike, that is the question. Or is it, nowadays striking season is seen as a form of disorder, but lest we forget, that this is a privilege to our young nation. There is a difference between protesting and striking, and since the democratic South Africa was born and unions formed, strikes have become a calendar event in South Africa.
Strike season is not over just yet, we have in the recent weeks, witnessed the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), the Chemical Energy Paper Printing Wood and Allied Workers Union (Ceppwawu), Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) and many other unions in a prolonged strike that has affected the economy badly, and even left many garage stations, particularly in the inland regions super dry.
As I said, strike season is not quite over yet, the South African Municipal Workers Union looks set to enter into a strike that will surely see municipals all over the country come to a near complete halt.
Fine, it is within unions rights to strike, and we shall respect that, as nobody goes to strike for fun, or just to show people who they really are, people are fighting, people are tired of living rough, fair enough, even if they get that 14% or whatever %, their lives won’t change much, then I pose a question, then why is it always a hero to give the people “much-about-nothing?”
Strikes, those televised at least, always paint the same picture, it is clear from the visuals that we receive from our beloved friends from eNews and SABC News, that there is no love lost between management and staff (or unions, whichever). Management, with their clean and crisp Carducci suits uttering how “crazy” THEY are for making such demands “in the current state of the economy”, and the unions and the ever-so-wounded workers burning and making a menace of themselves in a bid to disrupt as much as possible.
We cannot justify people damaging other people’s assets needlessly, but we must never forget that these are the heads of households, other households which are far-stretched beyond they could ever desire, mending for Sister Cynthia’s 2 kids over and above their already sizable family.
Point I am putting across, yes, the point, not the justification of the actions of it, is that a lot more people beyond what television and the media could ever show you are affected by the previous strike, and with the Numsa strike particularly, with the workers “winning” as they received 10%, up 3% from what the employers were initially offering, there is at least, some :)’s in the hood.
Durban University of Technology are on strike yet again, the university insists that classes have not been suspended, but we all know that when the SRC say’s it’s a strike, it’s a bloody damn strike, whether we like it or not.
With that said, this gives lovers who had been distanced from each other for a month or so, following lengthy winter holidays.
Meanwhile, “The students are demanding the institution provide branded condoms and sanitary towels to each student room but the university says this will be costly and unsustainable,” reported the News24 website.
Now that is the most ridiculous demand I have ever heard of in all my years of monitoring strikes from afar. Really now, branded condoms, cha ngeke we’ve been having it. Furthermore, they are demanding that girls be provided with pads, sies maan.
Now, of course some students situations are dire, and I do believe there is slight possibility that the News24 website may have derived the wrong meaning from whomever their source was. Perhaps, what the students want is for the availability of branded condoms (flavoured too maybe, who knows) at the institutions food courts where they use student cards that are funded with money, but that may only be made use of at designated key points at DUT.
I don’t know, but what I do know, is that we’ve been having it!