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About 400 workers at one of the 2010 Soccer World Cup stadiums have been dismissed for going on strike, in a move that could put at risk its July completion deadline, their union and employer said.
"About 400 of the workers at Mbombela Stadium, most of them members of the National Union of Mineworkers, who have been on an illegal strike, were sacked on Tuesday," George Ledwaba, the union's local spokesman, said yesterday.
"If this strike, which began on February 6, goes on for another week, it will affect the scheduled completion date of the stadium," he said.
"Our target completion date is July. We will probably have to extend this deadline as a result of the strike," the stadium's construction manager, Neil Fourie, said.
He said the workers downed tools over wages and bonuses.
Ledwaba condemned the strike by his union members, saying they did not follow due process before downing tools.
About 1000 workers are involved in the construction of the stadium.
Workers at the 46000-seater stadium have staged earlier strikes, most significantly in February last year, to demand a doubling of their wages.
Similar disputes have broken out at stadiums in Durban and Cape Town, but World Cup organisers say they are confident the projects will be completed on time.
Ten stadiums in nine cities will host the 2010 World Cup, the first time the tournament will be staged in Africa.
The Fifa deadline for the completion of all stadiums is October 15. - Sapa-AFP