Johannesburg - Nehawu members employed at Netcare [JSE:NTC] embarked on a nationwide strike on Tuesday, but the hospital group said its operations were not severely affected.
Netcare's group human resources director Peter Warrener said the protest action had not drastically affected their daily operations.
"A small portion of Netcare's nursing staff, who had already received their increases, participated in the strike action... Where needed contingency plans have been put in place," Warrener said in a statement.
According to the National Education, Health, and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu), the strike was a response to recent wage negotiations that collapsed.
In January Nehawu demanded a 15% wage increase, but Netcare only offered 5%. Workers rejected the deal.
"We therefore revised our demand to 12% as mandated by our members and the employer responded with a revised offer of 6%. The negotiations continued and the union revised its demands to 11%, with the employer responding by offering 7.2%," Nehawu's spokesman Sizwe Pamla said.
After the initial wage talks Nehawu took to lunch time pickets. Other unions accepted the 7% offer.
"We tried to give Netcare an opportunity to put people's lives before profits, but they were not interested. After patiently exploring all avenues, the workers have lost patience with Netcare and will withdraw their labour," Pamla said.
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