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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 November 2007, 10:35 GMT
Workers strike at 2010 WC stadium
Nelson Mandela and the World Cup trophy
South Africa will host the World Cup in 2010

More than 1,000 labourers walked off the job on Wednesday at one of the 10 South African stadiums being built or refurbished for 2010 World Cup.

This is the latest in a string of disputes disrupting the nation's preparations to host the 2010 World Cup.

The National Union of Mineworkers said its workers had downed their tools to press demands for bonuses and improved safety conditions at the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban.

The wildcat strike followed a round of negotiations on Tuesday between the NUM, one of the biggest unions in the country, and the consortium building the stadium.

"We wasted our time. We were locked in negotiations from 0800 GMT yesterday until 1900 GMT," Msi Poswa, an NUM regional organiser, said.

The NUM is demanding project bonuses of US$232 a month for each worker and also that workers be allowed to elect a full-time safety compliance worker to address concerns about safety standards at the site.

The labour dispute came less than two months after some 1,000 NUM workers walked off the job at Green Point stadium in Cape Town.

They walked off in a protest over the lack of travel benefits.

The strike was settled about a week later after employers agreed to provide transport to the site from nearby Cape Town train station and compensate workers for past travel costs.

South African officials are under pressure to ensure all the stadiums and other preparations for the World Cup are completed on time.

They have played down the prospect that powerful labour unions could delay or block the work.

South Africa has experienced a series of nationwide strikes this year, highlighted by a month-long public servants' labour dispute that led to violent confrontations in the streets and brought services at schools and hospitals to a near standstill.


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