BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Europe
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Tuesday, 9 May, 2000, 19:05 GMT 20:05 UK
South African workers threaten strike
Demonstration
Public workers demonstrating over pay rates last year
By Brian Barron in Johannesburg

A general strike has been called in South Africa on Wednesday to protest at government policies over privatisation, unemployment and inadequate protection for retrenched workers.

The strike is being organised by Cosatu, the Confederation of South African Trade Unions, representing about a third of the nation's workers.

But the unions are not assured of a massive turnout.

The union's hierarchy, which rejected an eleventh-hour appeal to call off the strike, is predicting that more than half their two million members will fall into line.

More jobs needed

The strike follows a series of public protests earlier this year targeting the unemployment rate, which in some towns is more than 60%, and government economic reforms such as privatisation.

Business leaders in Johannesburg doubt the strike will paralyse the country because large numbers of workers are not affiliated to the union alliance.

But there are worries the stoppage could further tarnish South Africa's image among overseas investors who have complained that President Mbeki has failed to denounce Mr Mugabe's actions in Zimbabwe.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Europe Contents

Country profiles
See also:

01 Jun 99 | South Africa elections
South Africa's economy: Much to be done
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to other Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories