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Metal Workers

160,000 Metalworkers In South Africa Are On Strike

On October 5, the South African National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA) called for an indefinite strike (a strike without a set end date) to demand an 8-percent increase in wages — and 160,000 workers in the steel and engineering sector answered the call. The union, South Africa’s largest, represents 400,000 workers in total. The massive strike continues the tense social crisis that has rocked the country since riots broke out in July in two provinces over the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma. “We’re suffering,” Sapelo, a metallurgy technician, told Radio France International. “I’ve been at this job for 13 years with no gratitude. The salary I get isn’t enough. I’m in debt, and I have to support my father, my mother, my brothers, and sisters. They all depend on me.”
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