STRIKE season in South Africa is entering full swing‚ with 90‚000 construction workers to down tools from Monday‚ the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said on Thursday (22/08/2013).
NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said the union’s members in the construction industry would embark on a strike after three months of wage negotiations had reached deadlock.
The NUM has‚ among its other demands‚ asked for a 13% increase for 2013 and 14% in 2014. Employers‚ which include Wilson Bayly Holmes Ovcon‚ Aveng and Group Five‚ have countered with an offer of 6% for 2013 and an inflation-adjusted increase for 2014.
News of the industrial action in the construction sector came as a strike in the motor manufacturing sector by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa entered its fourth day on Thursday.
A possible strike looms at platinum producer Lonmin’s North West mine after it issued minority unions with derecognition notices last week.
The NUM is also consulting its members over a strike in the gold sector‚ where negotiations between seven producers and four unions reached deadlock on Wednesday.
And in the clothing industry‚ 50‚000 members of the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union are to strike from next week.
STAND-OFF IN GOLD INDUSTRY
In the gold sector wage talks‚ the NUM and the United Association of South Africa have received certificates of non-resolution from the Commission for Conciliation‚ Mediation and Arbitration.
The Chamber of Mines said on Wednesday that talks with Solidarity and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) continued.
The NUM‚ with two-thirds representation‚ is demanding increases of between 15% and 60%. The highest demand is for an increase for entry-level underground workers to R8‚000 a month‚ or a 60% increase.
Amcu has demanded entry-level underground wages increase by 150% to R12‚500‚ while Uasa and Solidarity are asking for 18% and 10%‚ respectively.
Employers have tabled a revised offer of 6% for category-four and -five employees and for rock-drill operators‚ with increases in living-out allowances in line with inflation.
The chamber said on Wednesday: "The offer would increase the basic wage for underground entry-level employees to R5‚300 per month‚ and the living-out allowance to about R1‚730 per month.” With Reuters © BDlive 2013