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Thousands of SA National Park workers threaten to strike over pay

Jul 24 2019 11:10
Vernon Wessels, Bloomberg

A labour union representing about 5000 park rangers, field guides and other service and hospitality workers at South Africa’s 21 wildlife preservation areas are threatening to strike over a pay dispute.

The industrial action “will bring services to a resounding halt,” affecting visitors’ bookings as well as “day-to-day services like room service and bush walks, while petrol-filling stations could remain unmanned,” Hospersa, which represents the workers, said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

Hospersa declared a dispute against South African National Parks, known as SANParks, following “months of protracted wage negotiations” and were joined by two other recognised unions, it said. Talks deadlocked when unions rejected SANParks’ final wage increase offer of 5.5%, with workers seeking 11.5%.

The matter has been referred to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration to try and end the impasse, Hospersa said.

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