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Workplace Issues Today: South African Workers Continue Strike

After more than one million South African public workers began a strike on Wednesday, the government obtained an injunction on Sunday that forbids blockades on state buildings and mandates that workers who provide essential services to return to work. Union spokesmen said that they were not urging their members to return to work, but to keep the protests peaceful and to not blockade businesses. The injunction has had a very limited effect on the strike, and the government is calling for volunteers to help cook and clean the hospitals where army medics are working. At least two more unions will join the strike this week, a teachers’ union on Monday and local government workers on Thursday. The unions are asking for an 8.6% pay increase and the government is offering 7%. The President has said that the unions have the right to strike, but that there should be o violence or intimidation.

See South Africa army keeps hospitals open during strike,” BBC News Online, Aug 23 2010 (SD)

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