Freedom of Association, Collective Bargaining and the Struggle for a Minimum WageFOR ILO WORKSHOP: AGRICULTURE SECTOR13-17 August 2013 saliempatel labour research service email@example.com
Overview The Right to Freedom of Association, Organise and Collective Bargaining Is there a problem of low wages? The argument for a minimum wage But are we ready? Strategy and Tactics
Fundamental Conventions Adopted by SA • C029 - Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) 05 Mar 1997. • C087 - Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87) 19 Feb 1996 • C098 - Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98) 19 Feb 1996 • C100 - Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100) 30 Mar 2000 • C105 - Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105) 05 Mar 1997 • C111 - Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111) 05 Mar 1997 • C138 - Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138)Minimum age specified: 15 years 30 Mar 2000 • C182 - Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182) 07 Jun 2000
The Arguments • Low wages contributes to poverty • Low wages leads to ill-health, high turn over of labour, absenteeism – low productivity is a consequence of low pay rather than its cause. • Low wages is a disincentive for companies to invest in tech and R&D to increase productivity. • Low wages presents unfair competition to “good” employers and prevents them from long term planning as the “bad” employer is subsidised by paying low wages. A national minimum wage can alleviate poverty but has its limitations. Broader policies are required – Social Protection, National Development Plan – but wages and conditions which should be an integral part of this – is excluded.
ARE WE READY? • Performance in sectoral determinations & CB • Performance in social dialogue • Performance in organising - decline in union density • No effective strategies to build solidarity and unity. • No campaign/process to determine the minimum and no agreement on the minimum • Perhaps accusations that unions are aloof, out of touch, serving other interests is really guiding union strategies. • Perhaps not – we just don’t know what to do – but then we better start trying!!
Strategy and Tactics New methods to do the following: Attention to needs on the ground, Activism to mobilise mass campaigns Accountability to constituency • Draw from our history • Draw from what other organisations are doing • Draw from international experience • Education, Education…..Theory and Practice