Socialist Worker

Car workers bring industry to a halt in South Africa

Issue No. 2219

A strike by some 70,000 South African car component workers has brought car manufacturing plants in South Africa to a standstill. The firms hit include Nissan, Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, General Motors and Mercedes Benz.

Workers are demanding a 15 percent wage increase, an improved minimum wage, and better working conditions.

Last week metal workers rejected their employer’s 10 percent offer.

Workers have been taking part in mass protests throughout the strike. The latest “Motor March” involved some 7,000 workers.

They are facing severe intimidation by the police and some have been hospitalised.

Meanwhile a strike by more than 8,000 workers at Northam Platinum has entered its seventh day. The National Union of Mineworkers is demanding a 15 percent wage increase and a “living-out allowance” of R3,500 (£315) a month.

Zwelitsha Tantsi, the NUM’s chief negotiator at Northam Platinum, said that workers are prepared to “bring Northam to its knees” if the company refuses to improve its offer.

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Tue 14 Sep 2010, 17:14 BST
Issue No. 2219
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