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Friday, April 18th, 2014

South Africa’s Airline Technicians, Construction Workers Strike

S Africa National AirlineWorkers at South Africa’s largest airline and the nation’s construction companies began strikes on Monday.

According to Al-Jazeera, a union officials said hundreds of aircraft maintenance technicians with South Africa’s national airline  laid down their tools in the latest strike to hit the country.

About 1,300 technicians who repair and service SAA aircraft and who are also used by other domestic and international carriers, including British Airways and Qantas, were involved in Monday’s strike.

“Our members are striking for a double-digit salary increase of 12 percent,” Vincent Masoga, spokesman for the South African Transport and Allied Union (SATAWU), told AFP news agency on Monday. ”There are pickets going on near the airport right now.”

He said some members were picketing at Tambo international airport, which would possibly affect operations of domestic and international flights that are contracted with SAA’s technical operations, the City Press newspaper reported.

South African Strikes Expand 

Bloomberg.com reports that about 90,000 workers in the construction industry also downed tools after wage talks with the South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors became deadlocked, National Union of Mineworkers spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said by phone.

Employees at automotive plants owned by car makers including Toyota Motor Corp (7203), Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Volkswagen AG (VOW) will consider an improved wage offer that may end a walkout that started Aug. 19, the report said.

Employers have proposed a 10 percent annual pay rise for the next three years, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa Treasurer Mphumzi Maqungo said by phone.

“We are convening a national shop steward council meeting tomorrow,” NUMSA  spokesman Castro Ngobese said in a text message. “This will give us feedback on consultation and provide a way forward. The strike is still going on.”

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