To unionise or not to unionise?

Editor, unions have never been and will never be a solution. Market should determine salaries and wages.

Editor,

Refer to Sunny Ntayombya’s article, “Workers should forget about the minimum wage” (The New Times, July 30).

Unions have never been and will never be a solution. Market should determine salaries and wages.

The issue here is bad employers who are taking their employees for granted and that’s very wrong. Let us face the problem head on. Look at South Africa and see what unions have done. This is the last thing a growing economy like ours needs. Unions are scary and should never be an option especially at this stage of development.

Let us tackle the real problem instead.

Jackson, South Africa

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Why do some people seem to think that market forces will determine salaries and wages but then say unions would be a bad thing at this stage? Why not also think that market forces in a nascent economy like ours can’t also be relied upon to determine what one gets paid for doing this or that work at this stage of development? I believe unions are the way to go; to give the small man a voice.

There is a lot of injustice out here. Only the brave ones like the teachers of Kwa Gisimba get the attention but if you want to know where salary injustices are, go the private sector.

I don’t know about the government as I haven’t worked there for a while now. To put what I’m saying in perspective, here is a short story.

I worked for someone and they didn’t pay me; later, when I insisted on being paid, this someone terminated my contract like they had done for so many other temporary workers only I was permanent, or so I thought.

A friend advised me to go to court; I made some calculations of how much I was going to spend (remember the Ministry of Justice increased legal fees!) to take them to court and it was almost equivalent to what I was going to get back assuming I won the case.

I gave up and forgot about my money.

If there was a union I could go to, you bet, I would have and that somebody would have paid up. My main worry is: Will unions ever see the light of day in the land of a thousand hills?

Jean-Paul, Rwanda

 

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