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

    South Sudan Sends First Ever Official Olympic Team to Rio

    VOA caught up with Santino Kenyi, 16, one of three athletes who will compete in this year's summer games in Brazil

    Arrest of Malawi's 'Hyena' Man Highlights Clash of Ritual, Health and Women's Rights

    Ritual practice of deflowering young girls is blamed for spreading deadly AIDS virus

    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    VOA finds things Americans take for granted are special to foreigners

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.9093
    JPY
    USD
    104.27
    GBP
    USD
    0.7612
    CAD
    USD
    1.3233
    INR
    USD
    67.329

    Rates may not be current.