News / Economy

S. Africa Motor Industry Workers on Strike

Striking petrol station attendants protest in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 9, 2013.Striking petrol station attendants protest in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 9, 2013.
x
Striking petrol station attendants protest in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 9, 2013.
Striking petrol station attendants protest in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 9, 2013.
Thousands of auto service workers in South Africa have launched a strike to demand higher wages.  Their strike dovetails with another by auto manufacturing workers, who returned to work Monday.  This new strike will hit many South Africans much more directly since the striking workers include fuel station attendants.    
 
The end of one strike in South Africa became the beginning of another on Monday.  
Workers in the auto services industry, including fuel station attendants, car dealers, and the makers and retailers of spare parts walked off their jobs.  The workers are demanding wage hikes of $3 for hourly workers and a double-digit percentage increase for those on salary.

The strike follows another among workers in South Africa's major car-assembling companies, who went on strike three weeks ago demanding better wages.
 
The union representing these workers, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, NUMSA, announced the end of this strike on Sunday, saying the employers have given the workers a 30 percent salary increase spread over three years.

NUMSA’s General Secretary Irvin Jim broke the news to the media at a press briefing on Sunday.
 
“Out of seven companies, five companies who are on strike have accepted the offer, as a result the NEC have taken a decision, to announce the end of the strike and workers should resume work on Monday,” said Jim.

The union however, immediately declared the beginning of another strike in the auto service industry, involving up to 300,000 workers.
 
NUMSA Deputy General Secretary Karl Cloete said the employers were to blame for the new strike, accusing them of refusing to come to the negotiating table.
 
“The motor industry employers are very reckless,” said Cloete. “We have a package proposal for an industry settlement and they failed to talk to us.  So we want the public to understand that we are dealing with employers that have not moved beyond the apartheid period in terms of the labor market and how we are supposed to deal with it.”
 
Thousands of auto service industry workers in Johannesburg heeded the call on Monday and marched to the head offices of their employers
 
Prince Ramashia, a storekeeper at Safeline Brakes Company, led the marching workers in song and dance.
 
Ramashia said after working for nine years in the company, he earns $400 a month and struggles to provide for his family.
 
“What we want is that at least the minimum entry must be 6,000 rand per month, which is a small thing just because for now most of us are earning less than 4,000 rands,” said Ramashia. “And then if you can see that I’m a grown up person, then how can I live with that 4,000 rands per month?”
 
Two women working as fuel attendants at a service station in Johannesburg shouted their demands.
 
“Money talks, money talks, we can’t wait to talk money!  We can’t wait, we are tired, we need money!”
 
The involvement of the fuel station attendants in the strikes threatens to cripple the transport industry.  However, Reggie Sibiya, chief executive officer of the Fuel Retailers Association, said measures have been put in place to lessen the impact of the strike but he asked the public for patience.

South Africa is in the middle of the so-called strike season, where workers in various sectors of the economy announce their demands for wage hikes.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9211
JPY
USD
119.18
GBP
USD
0.6722
CAD
USD
1.2509
INR
USD
62.518

Rates may not be current.