Wage strike will 'go on forever'

DEADLOCK: Union members protest over wages after negotiations with furniture manufacturing employers broke down. Pic. Antonio Muchave. 01/07/08. © Sowetan.
DEADLOCK: Union members protest over wages after negotiations with furniture manufacturing employers broke down. Pic. Antonio Muchave. 01/07/08. © Sowetan.

Luzuko Pongoma

Luzuko Pongoma

The strike by workers in the furniture manufacturing sector could go on "for ever", their union and management said yesterday.

The strike over wages by 4000 workers across 90 companies in Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Free State began on Monday after negotiations reached a deadlock.

The workers are members of the Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers Union.

The companies affected include Edblo, Metz Bedding, Restonic, Sleepworld, Woodstuff and Douphin.

The union said its members equated the R9-an-hour they earned to a loaf of bread.

Mxolisi Cekwana of the union said members would continue with the strike until their demands were met.

"We want 13 percent but they are offering eight," Cekwana said. "That is unreasonable and way below inflation.

"The cost of living is too high, food prices have increased and the petrol price went up yesterday."

Nico Badenhorst of the Furniture Manufacturing Association said: "We will not change our offer. The strike will continue for ever."

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