OPINION: ‘Why are healthcare workers compelled to pay unions?’

DEAR Editor,-

It is concerning when workers in the healthcare sector inform the Democratic Alliance that their HR departments have made contributions to unions compulsory.

While citizens have every right to belong to a union of their choice – and employees to belong to similar employee structure – the right not to belong to a union is equally entrenched.

Added to this is the DA’s experience in dealing with workers’ matters within KZN’s health department, which shows that unions in this sector offer little advice and support.

They offer even less protection and when workers are victimised and fired and refer them to the CCMA with little assistance.

Clearly when union members’ funds stop flowing in, they are discarded like filthy rags.

We have also found that unions would rather make unconstitutional public pronouncements than work to address real issues.

This ultimately affects services from ambulances and the collection of deceased from accident scenes.

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And so we must ask – why are workers compelled to pay politically-affiliated organisations that provide false hope of representation and assistance when there is no value for money?

Why is union membership being forced upon staff, robbing them of their lawful right to spend their own hard-earned money as they please?

These are questions that the DA will put to KZN’s Health MEC in order to get answers.

These funds would be far better spent on workers’ families, even if contributions are regarded as meagre.

DR IMRAN KEEKA, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Health

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