File: Doses containing J&J vaccines to be administered are seen at a clinic. AFP/Rajesh Jantilal
JOHANNESBURG - Cosatu says forcing people to take the COVID-19 vaccine is going to be counter-productive.
Bheki Ntshalintshali says businesses need to speak to workers and not simply put in forceful regulations.
He was speaking during the Nedlac conference on Tuesday.
"Our view as labour, we are opposed to mandatory vaccinations...at least we agree to the ministerial directive...it gives a number of options on how these matters to be dealt with," Ntshalintshali said.
"We don't believe that you need to govern or by regulation that every time you need to have a social compact with people. We are saying this because we are quite aware of a number of sectors that are doing wonderful work in terms of engaged workers in the sectors....if you look at the clothing sector, almost 70 percent of workers are vaccinated.
"If you look to education and health, you look to the mining sector, much much progress has been made and what is the magic on this? There's no magic. It's that management has taken a view that working with the trade union and talking to people, we are able to make progress quicker than the question of trying to force people to be vaccinated.
"We all agree, and in fact, we have taken a view as labour that at least 80 percent of our workers and their families should be vaccinated and we are carrying that, talking to them but just to go and put law and force people, we don't think its going to work."