Airport workers down tools

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

Thousands of workers at King Shaka International Airport downed tools yesterday.

The strike action threatens to hamper the timely completion of the airport, situated on Durban's north coast.

About 5000 workers toyi-toyied outside the gates of the airport construction, complaining about, among other issues, wage increments.

A contingent of armed police, some in plain clothes, were deployed in and outside of the construction site to monitor the protest, which was free of violence, although tense.

When the Sowetan team arrived at the site yesterday morning, the workers, many wearing T-shirts bearing the ANC logo, were dancing to loud music, playing card games or lazing around.

"We are not going back to work until we get our money," they said. "The type of treatment we get from our managers need to be exposed so that some senior government people can know what exactly is happening around here," said one of the workers.

The National Union of Mineworkers' KwaZulu-Natal regional coordinator, Bhekani Ngcobo, said workers were not satisfied with a number of issues.

"The issue of wage adjustment touches us all because we all need money."

Ngcobo said that workers were expected to report for work first thing today.

Management was unavailable for comment.