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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces a Chaotic World and the Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7537
JPY
USD
103.79
GBP
USD
0.6032
CAD
USD
1.0957
INR
USD
60.522

Rates may not be current.