Strike season: We've had worse
Despite the hype, the number of work hours lost has been declining since 2010. Grounded: SAA technical staff are on strike. As strike season reaches a climax and with workers downing tools in at least three sectors, the voices of analysts become tinged with panic and headlines take on an urgent tone.
Fewer work-hours may have been lost to work stoppages but their effect on investor sentiment and the “reactive” components of the economy, such as the rand price, have been felt more keenly than before. The past two weeks have seen the culmination of this year’s much-anticipated wage negotiations.
About 30 000 workers in the automotive sector downed tools on Monday August 19, affecting most of the big-name motor manufacturers, including Toyota, Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes. They had failed to reach an agreement by Wednesday evening, with workers rejecting the employers’ offer of a 10% pay increase over the next three years.
At the behest of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), about 90 000 workers in the construction industry went on strike on Monday, snubbing the 7% wage increase offer and demanding a 12% rise across the board. Their demand echoes that of 600 technical employees of SAA who are members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union.
They are demanding a 12% increase, rejecting the 6.5% offered by their state-owned employer.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at Mail & GuardianSimilar Stories