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State has only two weeks to avert crippling strike

By unknown | May 16, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Kingdom Mabuza and Sapa

Kingdom Mabuza and Sapa

The government has two weeks to avert the impending national strike by public service unions that threatens to disrupt the country.

A Cosatu statement yesterday read: "The unions reaffirm that, while they are resolute in support of their legitimate demands, they are ready to re-enter negotiations if the government comes forward with a significantly improved offer."

Leaders of the eight Cosatu-affiliated unions yesterday finalised programmes of mass action leading up to the start of an indefinite national strike on May 28.

The strike will be preceded by a night vigil at Parliament on May 20 to 21, followed by marches and rallies in all the provinces on May 25.

Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven said: "A meeting with unions that are non-Cosatu is to be held later this week to coordinate a joint programme of action to unite all public sector workers."

State doctors who are members of the South African Medical Association (Sama) would also join the strike.

Sama chairman Mac Lukhele said 60percent of all public sector doctors, including those at district, regional and academic hospitals, supported the unions' 12percent wage demand.

"We support the demands while recognising that essential services and patient care must not be compromised by strike action," said Lukhele.


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