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In Pictures: South Africa's massive strikes
South Africa braces for one of the largest labour strikes over wages in the country's history.
Last updated: 05 Jul 2014 09:06
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Johannesburg, South Africa - Around 220,000 engineering and metal workers belonging to South Africa's biggest trade union have launched an indefinite strike over wages.

Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), the country's largest labour union, said they would not relent on their demand for a 15 percent wage increase. On Tuesday, NUMSA and other smaller unions marched in several cities, including Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Though there were no reports of violence, there were incidents of vandalism and complaints of intimidation.

Once a stanch ally of the ANC ruling party, NUMSA withdrew support for Jacob Zuma's party during the presidential elections in May, arguing for a new party dedicated to the poor. The strike came just days after workers in the platinum mine industry ended a five month strike where NUMSA sent a message of congratulations to the "courageous mineworkers for securing a decisive and historic settlement in the platinum belt".

"This settlement is not only a victory for mineworkers, but for workers in South Africa as a whole," the statement read.


/Ihsaan Haffejee/Al Jazeera

The current strike has been described as one of the biggest strikes in South Africa's history.



/Ihsaan Haffejee/Al Jazeera

Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) have declared an indefinite strike in the metalworking industry.



/Ihsaan Haffejee/Al Jazeera

Tens of thousands of metalworkers took to the streets across the country.



/Ihsaan Haffejee/Al Jazeera

NUMSA is the biggest union in the country with 220,000 engineering and metalworkers.



/Ihsaan Haffejee/Al Jazeera

Though the strike went ahead without violence, there were reports of vandalism and intimidation.



/Ihsaan Haffejee/Al Jazeera

Workers are adamant that they will not accept any wage increase below 12-15 percent.



/Ihsaan Haffejee/Al Jazeera

NUMSA workers gathered at urban centres across the country.



/Ihsaan Haffejee/Al Jazeera

Striking workers brought the Johannesburg city centre to a standstill.



/Ihsaan Haffejee/Al Jazeera

NUMSA says that the recently concluded strike in the platinum belt was a source of inspiration for all workers.



/Ihsaan Haffejee/Al Jazeera

NUMSA was formed in 1987, and was once considered one of ANC's strongest allies.



/Ihsaan Haffejee/Al Jazeera

Workers say their strike will not set the economy any further back than it already is.



/Ihsaan Haffejee/Al Jazeera

The union has been criticised for adopting a militant agenda.




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images:
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captions:

The current strike has been described as one of the biggest strikes in South Africa(***)s history.

;*;

Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) have declared an indefinite strike in the metalworking industry.

;*;

Tens of thousands of metalworkers took to the streets across the country.

;*;

NUMSA is the biggest union in the country with 220,000 engineering and metalworkers.

;*;

Though the strike went ahead without violence, there were reports of vandalism and intimidation.

;*;

Workers are adamant that they will not accept any wage increase below 12-15 percent.

;*;

NUMSA workers gathered at urban centres across the country.

;*;

Striking workers brought the Johannesburg city centre to a standstill.

;*;

NUMSA says that the recently concluded strike in the platinum belt was a source of inspiration for all workers.

;*;

NUMSA was formed in 1987, and was once considered one of ANC(***)s strongest allies.

;*;

Workers say their strike will not set the economy any further back than it already is.

;*;

The union has been criticised for adopting a militant agenda.

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Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
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