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Largest strike to hit SA

Mar 05 2012 07:45
James Brent Styan

Cape Town – Cosatu says there will be a total of 32 marches on Wednesday as part of the national strike action by the trade union federation.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said the two largest strikes will be in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

“The other strikes will be just as important; these are simply the two biggest ones.”

Cosatu is striking agains the contionued use of labour brokers and the pending implementation of tolls on Gauteng highways.

“It’s not too late. We can still call off the strike,” Craven told Beeld yesterday.

“If the governement comes out today and tells us it's banning labour brokers and scrapping the etoll system, we’ll call off the strike.”

Cosatu Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich told the media yesterday that he expects around 30 000 people to march to parliament on Wednesday.

“Cosatu strikes that are by Cosatu alone, generally attract around 20 000 people. Along with the other parties, we expect a bigger turnup on Wednesday.”

Some of the organisations supporting Cosatu include the Black Sash, the TAC and PASSOP.

Ehrenreich confirmed that union-affiliated teachers will also strike.

“Kids and students are also welcome to march with. The matters we’re striking about also impact on the children,” Ehrenreich said.

Economist Mike Schüssler said yesterday he estimates a massive strike like the currently planned one could cost the economy up to R8.2bn.

“At present any strike would cost SA economy R8.2bn if everything closed down, as that is the value we add ever yday. As we do not close everything - eg hospitals, petrol and at least some shops will be open - the cost is likely to be a lot less. 

"The problem is that the toll fees they are striking against also adds costs. Those costs also increase the cost of doing business and that hurts wealth creation and jobs too. We are in a double whammy.”

cosatu  |  strikes  |  tolls  |  roads  |  labour brokers


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