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Strike still on - Cosatu

By unknown | Jun 19, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Kingdom Mabuza and Sapa

Kingdom Mabuza and Sapa

Public servants yesterday showed no signs of tiring as the wage strike enters its third week, Cosatu's general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said yesterday.

"The strike continues. There is no sign that workers are getting tired, instead they are more angry," he told a Cosatu conference at Boksburg on the East Rand.

Vavi said the strike would end after the workers had forced through a deal that benefitted them.

"We want the strike to end as soon as possible. We want it to end in terms that would be beneficial to workers," said Vavi.

"The strike continues as long as that has not happened."

Government and public service negotiators will meet again today to discuss this year's wage increase.

Unions are still demanding a 10percent wage increase following a revised salary offer from government last Thursday, which included a 7,25percent increase.

Vavi said he first thought the strike would last only two more days before the government upped its offer.

But the workers' mood turned uglier this weekend and many believe the strike will gain momentum that would throw the country into chaos.

The Police and Prison Civil Rights Union (Popcru) last week threatened that their members would desert their posts and join the strike yesterday.

Popcru warned that its members would not report for work yesterday if the government refused to heed public service unions' demand for a heftier wage increase. But by late yesterday police management noted no excessive absenteeism at stations. An interim order was obtained preventing Popcru to embark on the strike.

"Popcru was ordered by the court not to even encourage or promote the strike," said police spokesman, Selby Bokala.

Vavi said poverty and unemployment remained a crisis despite the achievements of the past 13 years.


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