Monday, November 29, 1999

FACTBOX - A look at S.Africa labour unrest that has clouded Cup

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Labour unrest has marred the World Cup, with South African unions threatening action that could torpedo the sports spectacle and embarrass the government of President Jacob Zuma.The following is a list of many of the actions and threats:* Logistics group Transnet reaches a deal with striking workers in early June to end a dispute that disrupted ports and railways, after agreeing to increase wages by around double the inflation rate, currently at 4.8 percent.* Up to 16,000 workers at South Africa's power utility Eskom could go on strike this week if their demands for an 18 percent wage hike are not met, a union spokesman says. A strike could bring power outages to the World Cup.* Unions representing more than a million workers in the public sector including police, nurses and medics also threaten industrial action during the tournament unless President Jacob Zuma's government raises their salaries.Strike could also include immigration officials, leaving the country's ports of entry short-staffed.* Fourteen other unions affiliated to the country's powerful Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), which is also a crucial ally of the ruling ANC, have also threatened to strike.* Police fire teargas and rubber bullets late on Sunday to chase hundreds of protesting stadium stewards out of a Cup venue in the coastal city of Durban.Conflict over wages continues through week and police step in to provide security at stadiums across country.* Hundreds of soccer fans stranded in Johannesburg on Monday after the Netherlands-Denmark game in Soccer City when bus drivers went on impromptu strike.* Leading South African unions on Tuesday call for worker protests at Mexico games during the World Cup to highlight what they call "fascist regime" treatment of a fugitive Mexican miners' leader.(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz and Peroshni Govender; Editing by Michael Holden)
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