Platinum strike deal compels white collar workers to demand more



If truth be told, in the current economic climate, which is characterised by escalating level of unemployment, even some highly skilled graduates would settle for what was offered to striking mine workers after a settlement was reached. Thus, it is not surprising that one business owner has been experiencing a trend of his white collar employees bargaining for higher pay.
Christopher Riley, MD of the Johannesburg-based accessories retailer, The Notebook Company, says his company has been experiencing a number of wage increase demands from employees.
He finds the trend peculiar. “This situation is unprecedented in the history of our company – which is more than 20 years old. We have, during this period – which has lasted several months – lost a handful of staff. This is clearly not good for business, but we cannot pander to the whims of our employees.’
“Just because miners were demanding a basic salary of R12 500 per month it seems as though workers with higher levels of education – and experience – believe they are entitled to higher salaries. But we cannot, willy-nilly, just give in to pressures for unwarranted salary increases.”
Riley believes there are more than a handful of companies are facing this situation – although very few, if any – will want to comment.

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