2010-09-02 13:50:00

Card Napier on South African Strikes

Catholic Bishops in South Africa condemn violence and intimidation perpetrated by activists in the 3-week strike that is crippling the country and say the Government must go back to the negotiating table.
Meanwhile, some 1.3 million public workers are continuing to stay off work. The decision was made after the main trade union federation rejected an improved wage offer from the government.
Earlier this week, the government raised its pay offer to 7.5%, but the unions are demanding 8.6%.
Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, Archbishop of Durban and spokesman for the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference told Linda Bordoni that the country is in a very precarious situation… RealAudioMP3

Interview excerpts:
“The government has put itself in a weak position by having splurged out on the World Cup and then today saying that there is not money, and that is inflaming the situation to quite an extent…”
“The intimidation unfortunately is something that is reminiscent of the days when we were told that the people had decided, but only a little group was the one that knew what the people had decided and were then enforcing will upon the majority, and I think there is still that tendency within some of the labour organizations …”
“It’s gone beyond a wage dispute, I think it’s become a power struggle between the political elements in the labour movement and the political elements in the governing party, the ANC…”

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