No job no pay – a primitive rule

As the wage strikes continue, it is crucial to take note that year after year; workers count their losses through the primitive no job no pay rule. In addition, the so called ‘increments’ place workers on par with and mostly below inflation. In other words this is no wage increase at all. These increments do not result in change in the quality of lives of the working class masses. This is also followed by systematic manipulation of tax and food prices by the system rendering such wage increments meaningless and again placing workers at the same position they were in, before embarking on industrial action.
On the other hand company bosses and senior government bureaucrats pockets millions in bonuses. The salary of the bosses keeps on rising significantly at the expense of the workers. No one should ever be penalized for exercising constitutionally protected rights. The only limitation on the right to strike must be that such a right should be excised peacefully to the extent that law enforcement officers do not apply excessive force and repression.
To take away workers wages for exercising a democratic right is draconian and a negation of the right of workers to resort to labour power in order to enforce their rights. No job no pay is an exploitative primitive rule. In the context of workers rights, this rule is a negation of workers democracy. What is the value of a right when the excise thereof attracts reprisal? Certainly, no job no pay is a bourgeoisie ploy to deter workers from challenging the greed of the capitalist employer and asserting their legitimate demands through lawful industrial action. As a result of no job no pay rule, the first meager wage increases end up being applied towards covering these arbitrary deductions.
The longer the strike takes, the more workers starts giving in to the dictates of the system for fear of loosing significant portion of their salaries. These further contribute to divisions amongst workers which undermine the unity and cohesion of workers power. It is at this stage, when frustration for substantial wage cuts builds up, that the employer makes full use of divide and rule tactics.
Workers keep the business of the employer going and profitable for the employer’s benefits. The worker’s contribution compared to a few days of industrial action is extraordinarily high. The working class masses must therefore confront this blackmail.
Hulisani Mmbara
Chief Editor