Union Solidarity forces South Africa government back to negotiating table

S.African unions in talks to end 15-day walkout

(AFP) – 8 hours ago

JOHANNESBURG — Striking South African public sector unions were locked in talks Wednesday over a fresh wage offer to urgently end a 15-day-walkout, though some had already rejected it, officials said.

Unions were to report back to members on the improved offer put on the table after President Jacob Zuma ordered his ministers to negotiate a solution to the stoppage that has paralysed schools and hospitals.

“I know for a fact that some of the unions have rejected the offer, that they will not sign at all,” said Chris Klopper, chairman of the Independent Labour Caucus, one of the labour umbrellas representing 1.3 million workers.

The government and unions were to meet again later Wednesday to discuss a way forward, but one of the biggest striking unions said it has refused the latest proposal.

“We have rejected the offer,” said Sizwe Pamla, spokesman for the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), which has 244,000 members.

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