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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.