NUM ends construction strike with 12% wage deal

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said it had agreed to a deal for wage hikes of up to 12% with the construction industry, ending a three-week strike.

“This is a major victory for us,” union official Issac Ntshangase said today in a statement.

The strike in the construction industry, one of several in a number of sectors, had appeared to have a relatively small impact, with many workers refusing to heed union demands to down tools and many building sites remaining active.

Major construction firms include Aveng, Murray & Roberts and Group Five.

Workers in the motor and gold industries have returned to work after strikes that crippled operations at some of the country’s biggest producers were resolved last week.

Airline technical workers also returned to work this week, while an ongoing strike by petrol station attendants has caused little disruption so far in Africa’s top economy.

With the unemployment rate stuck at about 25% for years and poverty gripping millions, many South Africans have said they are more concerned with securing a pay cheque than heeding the strike calls of union bosses.

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