Strike Hits South Africa

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

In the largest labor action since apartheid ended, hundreds of thousands of public workers held a one-day strike on Aug. 24.

The action was a sharp rebuke to the newly elected African National Congress (ANC) government of Thabo Mbeki.

Twelve unions-representing over 800,000 workers-took part. They included affiliates of the Congress of South African Trade Unions-a traditional ANC ally-as well as the Federation of Unions of South Africa, which organizes many white workers.

“This is a new South African labor movement in the making,” said COSATU Gen. Secretary Zwelizima Vavi.

The workers are demanding a minimum 7.3 percent wage increase. But the ANC government, in a violation of labor law, implemented a 6.3 percent increase on its own, after bargaining had broken down.

Related Articles

Courageous UAW strike ends with few gains

By DAVID JONES Some 47,897 United Automobile Workers (UAW) ended their six-week strike against U.S. auto manufacturing giant General Motors on October 31. Fifty UAW-organized