Cross-sector strikes loom in S.Africa

22nd August 2013, Comments 0 comments

Strikes loomed in key South African sectors Thursday after wage talks stalled in the continent's largest economy.

Around 30,000 car industry workers downed tools at the beginning of the week, bringing manufacturing to a standstill.

Meanwhile construction industry employees gave notice to strike for higher wages next Monday, National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) spokesman Lesiba Seshoka told AFP on Thursday.

The union says it represents over 60 percent of the country's 140,000 construction workers.

Gold miners were also considering stoppages after the NUM -- which is demanding 60 percent wage hikes -- rejected a six-percent raise offer.

"The talks have broken down and there is a possibility of an industrial action," Seshoka said, adding the union would go to its members over the weekend "to get a mandate".

Wage strikes have become a regular occurrence in South Africa's winter period from June to August.

Last year unprecedented violent strikes in the mining sector left over 50 people dead in clashes, included 34 people police shot dead at Lonmin's platinum operations in Marikana.

South Africa last Friday commemorated the first anniversary of the Marikana shooting.

© 2013 AFP

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