Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

(The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature).

Published on WSWS, 7 August 2009.

3): … Africa

Telecom workers strike in South Africa:

  • On August 3, over 3,000 members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) began two days of strike action against the South African telecommunications company, Telekom. The action covered the areas of Gauteng, Kwazula-Natal and the Western Cape. Workers demand a 12 percent pay raise and an end to discriminatory salary disparities. The company had offered a 7.5 percent increase and a promise to introduce new salary bands by October 1. The strike action took place after talks between the employer and union, overseen by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), failed to reach agreement.    
  • According to the CWU General Secretary Gallant Roberts, the industrial action had an impact on Telekom services, hitting maintenance and new line installations.
  • Talks are continuing between Telekom and the CWU. A national march has been planned for August 11 if there is still no agreement. COSATU, the South African trade union congress, has pledged support for the march and called on other unions to support it.

Tanzanian rail workers strike in dispute over pay arrears:

  • A strike by Tanzania Railways Ltd (TRL) workers shut down the national rail network this week. “All passenger and cargo trains are stranded across the country,” an official told Dow Jones newspapers. On August 4, around 500 railway workers at the Dar es Salaam main station stopped work for a second day.
  • The general secretary of the Tanzania Railway Workers’ Union said this week that the union has been attempting to get TRL management to agree to talks since last month. The union is demanding a review of workers’ contracts, a pay increase and better redundancy term.
  • The strike ended on August 5 following an agreement reached between the union, the TRL management, and the railway ministry.
  • TRL is a joint venture between the Tanzanian government and Rail India Technical and Economic Services. The railways provide an important transport route for mineral exports from Zambia and Katanga, in the Congo, to the port at Dar es Salaam.

Nigerian health workers seek improved conditions:

  • Medical and health workers, members of the Nasarawa State section of the Joint Committee of Medical and Health Workers Union, began strike action on August 3. The stoppage renewed a previously suspended strike that had been held up pending a response from the state government.
  • Workers demand improved conditions. The union urged implementation of a report by government representatives and health officials, which it says will improve working conditions for medical and health workers.

Nigeria: Ibadan state education workers stage industrial action:

  • Academic and education workers belonging to six unions in the town of Ibadan, Nigeria, have been engaged in strike action for the last 3 weeks. The stoppages are in opposition to a new tax regime introduced by the state government.
  • The state government has set up talks led by the Commissioner for Education, Professor Taoheed Adedoja, in an attempt to resolve the dispute.

… (full text).

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