The Vision for the Post-1994 Labour Market C C M A 1 5 TH HALTON CHEADLE ANNIVERSARY – THINK TANK 10 NOVEMBER 2011 PRESENTATION OUTLINE The challenges at the time Policy and legislative responses Vision for the post-1994 labour market CHALLENGES The new government faced a terrible legacy of extreme inequality and high unemployment mass unemployment and poverty discrimination and inequality intense conflict at the workplace low levels of productivity shortage of managerial and technical skills required to drive an economy Sluggish employment growth economy increasingly open to international competition POLICY & LEGISLATIVE RESPONSES Constitutional rights RDP’s employment related objectives Policies underlying the LRA NEDLAC Act Labour Market Commission (Presidential Commission to investigate labour market policy (Report in June 1996) EEA, BCEA, SDA THE RDP’s VISION Eradication of poverty through “more and better” jobs Worker participation The elimination of racial and gender-based discrimination in the labour market Productivity enhancement A stable macroeconomic environment LABOUR MARKET COMMISSION Terms of reference To develop labour market policies to meet the RDP Voice regulation at all levels Balance between labour market security and flexibility National Productivity Accord Productivity-enhancing work organisation Institutionalised co-ordination THE EMERGENCE OF A POST-1994 VISION “Regulated flexibility” A growth path with job creation and strong economic development Increased private sector investment to underpin employment growth including the IDC’s development finance and support measures for small, medium and micro-enterprises Labour market policies co-ordinated with macroeconomic policies by means of a national Accord for Employment and Growth involving all of the social partners Macroeconomic, industrial and trade policies that promote employment and do not focus only on driving down inflation THE POST-1994 VISION Management of global competition - increasing efficiency in the utilisation of domestic resources, both labour and capital, as the basis for effective engagement in international markets Reforms in the labour market to promote flexibility, where flexibility is understood as a multi-faceted concept that is not merely a euphemism for lower real wages or weak unions Protection of individual rights and labour market security The balance between flexibility and security achieved through the mechanism of voice regulation - bargained arrangements between strong, stable and well-informed employer and employee representatives THE POST-1994 VISION Promotion of collective bargaining Institutional framework Nedlac Sectoral bargaining through bargaining councils Workplace forums THE POST-1994 VISION Employment equity – affirmative action without quotas but the emphasis on the role of collective bargaining and participatory workplace structures in developing employment equity plans Skills development with recognition of prior learning Workplace-based training with transportable skills and qualifications THE VISION FOR NEDLAC Policy-making at the highest level Consensus based Tripartism A forum for negotiating legislation prior to normal legislative processes Demarcation of sectors THE LRA’S VISION Social justice and economic development Freedom of association Organisational rights to stabilise union organisation Promotion of collective bargaining – both at workplace and sectoral level Establishment and consolidation of bargaining councils Framework agreements at sectoral level Productivity bargaining at plant level Less adversarialism and meaningful consultation at all levels THE LRA’S VISION Speedy dispute resolution with the emphasis on meaningful consensus- seeking approaches Recognition of the right to strike with relatively non-technical processes to follow Interest arbitration of essential services disputes Relative labour peace – no strikes over dismissals and thorough mediation before strike action Codified, clear law on unfair dismissals with final and binding arbitration; limited grounds for review Limited concept of the unfair labour practice Simple workplace disciplinary processes QUESTIONS Why have we not achieved more consensual, rather than less adversarial engagements? Has NEDLAC succeeded as an effective tripartite institution? Is collective bargaining playing a constructive economic role Is there sufficient progress on productivity and skills development? Is it too easy to strike? Is it too easy to refer disputes? QUESTIONS Why have unions not followed organisational and strategic approaches to changes in the labour market? What is the scope for job creation agreements, perhaps with lower wages for new entrants? What role can the CCMA play to achieve the original vision?