Johannesburg - About 180 000 workers in South Africa's public service sector will strike on
July 29 after wage negotiations with the government became deadlocked, a union
official said on Thursday.
"We have been issued a certificate to strike and the strike may be much
larger if Cosatu-affiliated unions join us," said Public Servants
Association spokesperson Manie De Clercq.
State workers including nurses, teachers, policemen and immigration officers
rejected the government's 6.5% wage offer and are demanding an 8.6% increase as well as a R1 000 ($130) monthly housing allowance.
The strike could hurt the economy as it recovers from its first recession in
Salary negotiations with the country's largest labour umbrella group, the
Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (Cosatu) have also become deadlocked and
the federation is balloting its members on whether to join the strike.
"We hoping that the employer will revise its offer but in the event
that they don't, we will also strike by next week," said Sizwe Pamla,
spokesperson for the National Education, Health and Allied Workers - a Cosatu
If Cosatu joins the industrial action, about as
many as 1.3 million state employees could walk off their jobs.