South Africa is undergoing a strike wave, the second in a matter of months, with miners, municipal workers and civil servants about to take strike action. This follows stoppages in recent weeks by urban workers, grocery clerks and airline workers.
Around 80,000 gold miners came out on Sunday 7 August, the first strike organised by the National Union of Mineworkers in gold mines in 18 years.
On Monday 8 August the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) began another strike for higher wages. It wants 8%, while employers have imposed a 6% increase. Workers in in waste disposal, roads, parks and forests, libraries, town planning, administration and support services all came out.
In the textile industry, 250 Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union members in Botshabelo are still on strike after almost six weeks.
And a strike is also looming at South African Revenue Service (SARS) after the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) formally declared a dispute. The union is going ahead to ballot its 5,000 members for possible strike action. Nehawu is demanding an 8% wage increase and a pay progression of 5% of basic salary. SARS is offering 6%.