The representatives from the Unions pose for a photo after a press conference
at SAFA House. Photo: CHRIS RICCO.
World Cup: Workers may call off strike in South Africa
The construction strike, which had brought work on the 2010 sites to
a halt for a week could end today; after the National Union of Mine workers
said yesterday that most of its members had conditionally accepted a new pay offer.
The SA Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors had made an
11.5 per cent wage increase offer.
National Union of Mineworkers spokesperson, Lesiba Seshoka, said most
of its 50,000 members favoured accepting the offer on the condition
that issues in last week's framework agreement were addressed.
The Building Construction and Allied Workers' Union, with about 20,000 workers,
said its members rejected the 11.5 per cent offer, and would accept only 12 per cent.
The unions and SA Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors held
make-or-break talks today to end the strike threatening
completion deadlines for 2010 stadia.
An agreement was reached last week after intervention
by Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana and
the local organising committee of the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
Unions got feedback from members at the weekend.
The workers were insisting on 13 per cent and
SA Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors on 10.4 per cent
until Mdladlana and the local organising committee chairman,
Irvin Khoza, pressured them to reach agreement.
"A majority of our workers indicated a willingness to accept t
he framework provided certain issues were resolved,
" Seshoka said. "The ball will be
in the employers' court when we meet."
While he could not confirm, it is understood that
workers want 12 per cent and the scrapping of a clause
in the framework agreement to ensure that workers
do not go on strike in the future.
The Building Construction and Allied Workers' Union spokesperson,
Narius Moloto said: "We will go to (the) meeting insisting
on 12 per cent.
Surely half a percentage point cannot lead companies
We are confident that employers will not want
to protract the strike just because of that."
The strike raised concern about whether South Africa
will be ready to host the World Cup next year.
But SA Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors spokesperson
Schalk Ackerman said: "We are positive that
the process will be concluded by Monday as
we intend to meet on Tuesday to finalise the agreement.
"We are looking forward to Tuesday's finalisation and
trust that these stakeholders, and indeed the whole
of South Africa, will not be disappointed
with the response from the unions," Ackerman said.
Gsm: (250) (0) 78-847-0205 (Mtn Rwanda)
Gsm: (250) (0) 75-079-9819 (Rwandatel)
Home: (250) (0) 25-510-4140
P.O. Box 3867
Kigali - RWANDA
Skype ID: kayisa66