Trade union strategies for bargaining with foreign companies in South Africa

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Trade union strategies for bargaining with foreign companies in South Africa

Trade unions organising at Israeli-owned dairy company, Clover, led workers on a prolonged strike to protest the company’s threats to reduce pay and retrench workers.

In this video, Cynthia Joyce, National Sector Organiser at the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) speaks about the lessons learned by the unions:

1. Have solidarity when building your bargaining case in workplaces that recognise multiple trade unions.

2. Prepare well for negotiations: Look at various benchmarks, including inflation, economic outlook, company revenue and profits, and key company strategies.

3. Know how to deal with retrenchment processes effectively: Identify the various strategies for saving jobs and supporting workers.

4. Investigate and monitor foreign companies planning to enter or doing business in the country:

  • Demand the company shows how they intend to create employment and treat the workers
  • Have a strong monitoring role when acquisitions are made and ensure companies remain accountable
  • Demand enforcement of the agreement, and tough consequences for flouting.

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