Frantic bid to end strikes at 2010 sites

WORKER ANGER: Construction workers who downed tools at the Zone Rosebank Mall in Johannesburg on Wednesday parade around the site yesterday after joining colleagues on strike at other sites around the country. Pic: ELVIS NTOMBELA. 08/07/2009. © Sowetan.
WORKER ANGER: Construction workers who downed tools at the Zone Rosebank Mall in Johannesburg on Wednesday parade around the site yesterday after joining colleagues on strike at other sites around the country. Pic: ELVIS NTOMBELA. 08/07/2009. © Sowetan.

AS striking construction workers packed and left construction sites yesterday afternoon, the government, unions, employers and 2010 World Cup officials remained locked in a meeting to try to resolve the impasse.

AS striking construction workers packed and left construction sites yesterday afternoon, the government, unions, employers and 2010 World Cup officials remained locked in a meeting to try to resolve the impasse.

About 70 000 unionised workers at all 2010 sites have been on strike since Tuesday over a wage dispute.

Gautrain construction workers went on a rampage, blocking Allandale Road and preventing motorists from entering the Midrand precast site.

Police were called in to calm the situation.

National Union of Mineworkers members wearing orange overalls came to work in the morning but did not start work since they were protesting against low wages and bad working conditions.

Frightened motorists made U-turns and hooted to those who were coming to turn back.

At Soccer City workers stood all whole morning until late afternoon hoping to hear from their labour representatives.

The workers are on a no work, no pay industrial action that has so far threatened to derail the completion of projects at the construction sites.

The deadline for completion of all the stadiums is October this year.

"I will be here tomorrow morning to sing all over again. I just want what is due to me.

"The union should not give in because of the upcoming World Cup," said an exhausted Peter Mzimela yesterday.

Fifa local organising committee chief executive Danny Jordan, chairperson Irvin Khoza, Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana, the SA Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors and the union representatives spent the whole day at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration offices in Johannesburg trying to come up with a solution to end the strike.

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