Date set for public workers strike

2010-07-21 15:53

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 17 years.

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 affiliated union.

If Cosatu joins the industrial action, about as many as 1.3 million state employees could walk off their jobs.

  - Sapa

  • Wayne - 2010-07-21 16:00

    Some days i wish i worked for the state, coz then i only need to work half the year and still get paid more :)

  • Maxi - 2010-07-21 16:01

    COSATU must not trust PSA. They will suspend their strike if offered 6.5%. We have witnessed that before

  • Realist - 2010-07-21 16:05

    They must please tell us when they are actually striking as I seriously doubt if we will realise it in any way otherwise.

  • glen - 2010-07-21 16:06

    Fire them all and replace them with mozambicans, at least the public service will improve and we will be getting what we pay for, "public service"!!!

  • Mike - 2010-07-21 16:09

    Best you announce it if the strike goes ahead, otherwise we risk not knowing that it happened.

  • zane - 2010-07-21 16:11

    i am joining the strike why must i go to work if the Anc can give me and all voters free stuff.

  • Moor - 2010-07-21 16:12

    "Public WORKERS strike?" Define "worker" Gross bunch of overpaid layabouts trashing the infrastructure they inherited 16 years ago. Do you mean to say we few taxpayers feed, clothe and educate 1.3 million of these parasites? The same work could be done by 500,000 motivated, competent humans.

  • Juan - 2010-07-21 16:13

    they don't work anyway, so why strike?

  • Tax payer - 2010-07-21 16:13

    Surely Public Servants need to ask tax payers first if they want to strike.After all we are paying them

  • Gaopi - 2010-07-21 16:15

    I think the strike has been delayed for too long Eskom got their requested increases beause they timed their negotiatons & resolution to strike. All I can say is "Hlome ihlasele" "Ereng Magwala a cheche". There will be casualties such as Matriculants, our creditors and our credit ratings but Ive never heared of a war without casualties.

  • Gina S - 2010-07-21 16:17

    I think its about time the government pulled the plug on UNIONS, striking is a violation of our Human rights. This country cannot afford the increments the unions are asking for. They do this so that their own funds can increase. The labour laws are aso a problem as the government laid down minimum wages which is far to low for people to live on, but then these wages were laid down because of BEE so that black owned companies would not have to pay high wages. COSATU YOU SHOULD BE FIGHTING FOR JOB CREATION and not continued increments, people need to work, as it is firms do not want to employ workers who belong to a union as they consider it continuos trouble.

  • Riaan - 2010-07-21 16:17

    Why should we be surprised? Just because the country can ill afford this strike and the demanded increases does not mean they will not be granted. Come on Mr & Ms Minister, go out and but and eve bigger Mercedes. That will teach these irritating labour unions who the boss really is. Our country is sliding down the tubes much faster than we could ever imagine.

  • Paul - 2010-07-21 16:27

    One simple question: Will we notice the difference?

  • Isaac - 2010-07-21 16:43

    This could harm our business. May government please revise its offer, to avoid the fall on our economy.

  • 50 CALIBER - 2010-07-21 16:45

    1.3 MILLION WORKERS ON STRIKE??? WTF. Zimbabwe No. 2 here we come. GO for it anc, destroy the country once and for all so that the people with brains can start all over again. COMMUNISM AT IT'S FINEST. AND ZUMA FIDDLED WHILE S.A. BURNED. (or was that Nero & Rome)

  • chris - 2010-07-21 17:19

    let them all the public servants leave its a free country Then let the unemployeed fill the gaps As I see a large slice of goverment workers do not have a clue if you ask them Also perhaps some of the back handers will all stop as well

  • MRG - 2010-07-21 17:20

    Maxi16:01 where do you come from? the reason they are striking is b'cos they have been offered 6.5%. you really think somebody is going to say hey PSA we really offer you 6.5% and they will say that is ok with us... like duuuuh... they want more and i don't see why public servants can't get more if Eskom got a whole 9% plus 1500 housing allowance. well they can have their electricity... what will they do with if there are now workers to use it? and yes i am a public servant as well.

  • mdu - 2010-07-21 17:21

    pathetic the only thing they know is to strike,babies dying at Challote Maxheke due to unhygienic practises matriculants failing, crime unresolved,but if they have to strike they respond like bullets.I suggest if they are not happy about their salaries they must find better jobs and leave what they are doing know.Disgusted tax payer where on on you can demand housing subsidy from your employer????

  • Right Said Fred - 2010-07-21 17:27

    Why didn't we have all these strikers fighting to play for Bafana Bafana ? we could have won the world cup

  • Kevin - 2010-07-22 00:45

    If Police, Nurses and teachers strike will we even notice ?

  • Shrek - 2010-07-22 07:31

    Well this should discourage any potential investors from entering SA. Will also result in more jobs losses.

  • Boertjjie - 2010-07-22 09:04

    Ja where's the good old days we simply got rid of them and replaced them with competent humans. Its a cicus with a clown and not a ring master at the steer.

  • marule alfred kgomu - 2010-07-22 10:32

    We are striking for a living wage,the state must pay us,they funded world cup and their expensive cars,expensive hotel bills,now they claim no money.which house can be bought for R120.Strike is the only language Zuma and his cabinet understands

  • John - 2010-07-22 14:07

    Recent stats. 5 million tax payers. 12.8 million working. 13.8 million on state benefits. Over 1 million jobs lost in past year. Average wage increases way above inflation. Eventually something has to give as this cannot be sustained in the long term.

  • Rogers - 2010-07-23 09:41

    You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for anther person must work for without receiving. The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Governmentdoes not first take from somebody else. When half the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. Dr Adrian Rogers 1931

  • MARK - 2010-07-23 21:24

    Lets all withhold our rates for 3 months and see how they pay the workers when they strikewithout the tax payers money, lets see who can last the longest, maybe this is the only way to get the message through that COSATU ned to be put in their place once and for all.Nurses are the worst it seems, followed by the thousands of teachers who apparently are not qualified,why!!! because no-one checks their qualifications!!! how doff is this government, can only drink coffee all day and talk s/"t all day at the tax payers expense,especially hotels eg (mount nelson)R6000 per night!!!MAKES ME MAD,but the same people spend ,but COSATU still lets the ANC stay in power

  • Thabo - 2010-07-28 17:19

    I am one of those educators who voted for this governement which now neglects us.We are underpaid. Let's go on strike.

  • anonymous - 2010-07-29 13:27

    I dont think asking for a R300-R400 raise is going to make any changes to your life. Do you realise you will work 20-40yrs but never really enjoy your fruits. gov must cust tax substantially so thay we can save for our childrens education , retirement etc. so dont call for raise call for a tax cut.Oh! Unions are useless by the way just look at Blade Nzimande where is he now, they all want the same thing

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