South Africa’s gas station attendants and mechanics to go on strike


A Sasol gasoline station in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Sept. 22, 2010.



South Africa's 72,000 gas station attendants, mechanics and car dealership workers said they would walk off the job on Sept. 2 in a strike for higher wages.

"Workers are no longer willing to be subjected to starvation and poverty wages," the workers’ union, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), said in a statement.

NUMSA said wage negotiations with employers had ground to a standstill, forcing the action. "The strike action has not been on our agenda, but it has been imposed on us by motor industry ruling oligarchy," the union said.

A strike by nearly 30,000 workers in the car manufacturing industry launched seven days ago has resulted in an offer of a 10 percent wage hike for workers.

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The work stoppage, which is affecting production at plants operated by Toyota, General Motors and Volkswagen, is costing the economy an estimated $60 million a day.

About 90,000 construction workers are also on strike, demanding a 13 percent wage adjustment against employers' offer of six percent.

In South Africa, wages come for review around mid-year, often resulting in disputes, as workers demand above inflation hikes.

Work stoppages in the key mining industry have hit profits in several firms, with some companies mulling massive job cuts to reduce costs.

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Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.