State of the (striking) nation

Strike season is in full swing. Here’s a breakdown of which industry sectors are experiencing strike action this weekend.

Mining: On Friday July 22 the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) at De Beers Consolidated Mines was set to down tools after the union declined a 7.5% wage offer. The union is demanding a 15% wage increase. Meanwhile, the union’s workers in the coal sector will also go on strike next week, after the union was granted a certificate of non-resolution by the CCMA after talks reached a deadlock. The union is demanding a 14% wage increase while the employer is offering between 7% and 8.5%.

The gold industry resumes negotiations next week after talks deadlocked on July 13. The National Chamber of Mines, negotiating on behalf of AngloGold Ashanti, Harmony Gold and Goldfields, is offering between 5% and 5.5% while the NUM and United Association of SA (Uasa) are demanding a 14% increase. Solidarity is demanding 12%.

Energy: The NUM rejected a 5.5% wage increase offer by Eskom on Wednesday and on Thursday parties returned to the negotiating table. The union is demanding a 16% increase. Solidarity, meanwhile, is still in talks with Eskom and it said this week that negotiations would gain momentum in the coming weeks.

Petroleum: Solidarity suspended its strike on Wednesday after a new wage offer of between 8% to 10%, depending on an employee’s level. But the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers’ Union (Ceppwawu), which is the biggest union in the sector, announced on Thursday that its members had rejected the offer, which would have put to the end a two week strike action. The union is demanding a 13% wage increase.


Public sector:
Public sector unions were to convene on Friday to consider an informal “facilitatory” offer of an 6.8% increase. The unions are asking for 8%, don from an initial demand of 10%, but want issues relating to a new housing scheme and medical aid subsidy to be finalised before signing any agreement.

The South Africa Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) is still consulting with its members on a 6.08% offer and a 7.5% proposal by the facilitator. The workers are demanding an 18% wage increase. The union will convene next week to reassess its position before the next round of negotiations begins.

Metal and engineering industry: After initially declaring a dispute with the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) last month over annual increases of 4.1% over the next five years, on Monday both the NUM and Solidarity signed a wage settlement that put an end to a two week strike. Solidarity settled on an 8% to 10% increase, while the National Union of Metalworkers in South Africa (Numsa) settled on a 10% increase.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

How smuggled gold destined for Dubai or Singapore has links...

Three Malagasy citizens were apprehended at OR Tambo International airport, but now the trail is found to connect to France and Mali

How lottery execs received dubious payments through a private company

The National Lottery Commission is being investigated by the SIU for alleged corruption and maladministration, including suspicious payments made to senior NLC employees between 2016 and 2017

More top stories

Spy boss tells how agency was used to detain Zuma’s...

Day two of State Security Agency testimony at the Zondo commission birthed more revelations that point to the former head of state and agents breaking the law

Covax will take excess doses of Covid vaccines off the...

The global initiative plans to deliver two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to developing nations

Eastern Cape citizens don’t have to visit the labour department...

This measure, aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19, may shortly be introduced in other regions.

Covid-19 economic crisis will be felt by the poor for...

The pandemic’s economic fallout will affect the world’s poor for years, while the richest billionaires increase their wealth, an Oxfam report notes
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…