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Unions to vote on new govt offer of 7.5 percent wage hike

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-31

State employees in South Africa will vote on Tuesday on the latest wage offer made by the government in an attempt to end a nearly three-week-long strike. The government has offered a 7.5 percent wage hike while the union demands 8.6 percent.

REUTERS - Striking South African state workers will vote on Tuesday on an increased wage offer made by the government to try to end a nearly three-week-old strike, the COSATU union federation said.

The government increased its offer to 7.5 percent from 7 percent -- compared to the union demand for 8.6 percent -- after being ordered back to negotiations by President Jacob Zuma, under growing political pressure over the stoppages.
 
"The offer will be discussed by members today and they will vote on whether to accept the new offer," COSATU President Sidumo Dlamini told Reuters. "We don't know what members will do. Indeed there has been a shift and we expect members to look at it critically."
 
The strike has closed schools, prevented treatment at hospitals and harmed investor sentiment in Africa's biggest economy.
 
Although its impact on currency, bond and stock markets has been minimal so far, that could change if the strike spreads to the broader economy. COSATU has threatened a one-day symapthy strike by all members on Thursday if no deal is reached.
 
"At this stage, the sympathy strike on Thursday is on hold. It all depends on our mandate from members," Dlamini said.
 
As well as the proposed wage increase, the government raised its offer for a monthly housing allowance to 800 rand ($109). Unions have been demanding 1,000 rand. ($1=7.365 rand)

 

Date created : 2010-08-31

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