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 Public servants to strike

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PosOnderwerp: Public servants to strike   Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:23 pm


July 21, 2010


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A number of public service unions on Wednesday indicated they intend to strike over a deadlock with the state over salary negotiations.

The Public Servants' Association (PSA), which had 210,000 members, would go on strike from July 29, it said in a statement.

"Negotiations in the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) have deadlocked and the employer, despite numerous meetings aimed at breaking the deadlock, has not moved."

The decision was in response to the state's "insignificant" offer of 6.5 percent across-the-board and an increase of R120 per month on the current R500 monthly housing allowance.

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union said it would also take part in the strike. The SA Municipal Workers' Union said it was "too early to say" and its members were still being consulted.

The Democratic Nursing Association of SA had also declared a dispute with the employer. The union had rejected the employer's wage offer, but considered a strike a last resort.


PSA spokesman Manie de Clercq said the employer had also refused to budge on extending the medical subsidy of R2500 per month.

The PSA approached its members for a mandate on whether or not they were prepared to embark on indefinite strike and the majority voted in favour of it.

Based on the mandate, the PSA had notified the PSCBC, in accordance with the Labour Relations Act, of a strike by its members.

"Whilst the PSA remains open to finding a resolution to this growing crisis, we can no longer tolerate the employer's total disregard for the basic needs of its employees", said De Clercq.

Congress of SA Trade Unions spokesman Patrick Craven said it was still unknown how many of its other affiliates would take part in a strike. - Sapa.
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PosOnderwerp: 'Our members are ready and agitated'    Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:24 pm


July 21, 2010


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A strike over wages may hit vehicle manufacturers if a deal is not reached soon, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) said on Wednesday.

"Our members are ready and agitated to use their mobilisational power to withhold their labour power until their demands are met," the union said in a statement.

Numsa said it had been involved in protracted wage negotiations with the Automobile Employer Organisation (AMEO) for a wage increase for 2010 "as per the national bargaining agreement in line with the Labour Relations Act".

The first phase of the negotiations began in the middle of June while the second phase was concluded at the end of June.

"The last phase of the negotiations which culminated in a deadlock happened on July 15 to July 16," Numsa said.

Its demands made to AMEO were "consistent with the Living Wage campaign of our federation, Cosatu".

The union was demanding a 20 percent wage increment across the board as well as a one year bargaining agreement.


It was also demanding six months full paid maternity leave and the banning of labour brokers.

"These demands by our manufacturing workers are consistent with the African National Congress (ANC) electoral commitments of creating decent and sustainable livelihoods."

Numsa said AMEO should be conscious of the fact that the 2010 World Cup was over "and our demands will no longer be muzzled by the ruling elites in the interest of the country or for some uninvited foreign football spectators".

AMEO spokesman Chris Thexton confirmed that the current round of negotiations had reached a deadlock.

"Our facilitators are now required to render an opinion on which party is the most reasonable and both parties will consider this opinion."

He said AMEO and the union would meet again in early August.

"We're hoping for a settlement so that a strike can be averted," he said. - Sapa
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PosOnderwerp: Final bid to avert civil servants' strike   Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:49 pm


MATUMA LETSOALO | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Jul 23 2010 13:38

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Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini will meet Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi this weekend in a last bid to head off a looming wage strike by 1,3-million government employees.

The Public Servants' Association (PSA), which represents more than 200 000 public-service workers, issued a seven-day strike notice this week that is likely to see 90% of immigration and passport control officers downing tools next Thursday.

Although none of the six Cosatu-affiliated public-sector unions has so far issued a similar notice, the Mail & Guardian understands that most members are eager to join the PSA in the strike action.

Some Cosatu leaders believe the federation could use the strike to send a strong message to Jacob Zuma's government to pay closer attention to worker issues.

In 2007 Cosatu used a public service strike to denounce former president Thabo Mbeki's leadership style. Although Cosatu played a major role in bringing Zuma to power, the federation is fast running out of patience with Zuma, who is seen as dragging his heels on economic policy reform.

On Thursday National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) general secretary Irvin Jim described the government's 6.5% wage increase offer to public servants as "pure provocation". "The government should move on its offer if it wants the dispute to be settled," he said. "It's in the interests of the country."

Sizwe Pamla, a spokesperson for the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu), said most of its members were prepared to strike.

"Our members want government to move at all levels, includinghousing, medical aid and salary increases -- not just salaries," said Pamla.

He said all Cosatu unions would meet on Thursday to submit reports to the federation's joint mandating committee, which would decide how to proceed. However, Pamla said that unions were not planning to issue strike notices until they examined the government's new offer, which is expected before the end of the month. He criticised the PSA for rushing to issue the strike notice, as labour had agreed to give the government time to put something new on the table.


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"We promised to engage government. We were united as labour, but unfortunately, the PSA took a decision to issue a strike notice. Our members understand that we are waiting for government," Pamla said.

He said Cosatu president Dlamini would meet the minister some time at the weekend in a bid to break the impasse.

PSA spokesperson Manie de Clercq said the union decided to issue the strike notice when it realised that the government was unwilling to move.

"With or without Cosatu unions, our members are ready to down tools on Thursday. The strike action will have a huge impact, given that 90% of immigration officers will join it," said De Clercq.

He described as "rubbish" a statement by the public service and administration department that the PSA's strike notice was premature.

"We waited for more than two months for this thing to be resolved. What are we still waiting for?" De Clercq asked.
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