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Industrial Action Report finds SA recorded the highest number of strikes last year

by , 19 September 2013
A 2012 Industrial Action Report tabled by the Department of Labour (DoL) has showed a significant increase in the number of strikes last year, compared to the previous four years, EyeWitnessNews reports. According to the report, there were 99 strikes recorded last year alone. Here are the key findings of the report...

The latest Industrial Action Report has found that the county recorded the highest number of strikes for the past five years.

According to the report, a total of 99 strike incidents were recorded in 2012. That's huge compared to 67 in 2011, 74 in 2010, 51 in 2009 and 57 in 2008.

The report also found the country lost R6.6 billion due to strike action in 2012.

But that's not all...

Here are the key findings of the 2012 Industrial Action Report

According to the report by the DoL, key features of industrial action during 2012 include the following:

  • 44% of the strikes recorded in 2012 were unprotected.
  • 57.5% of workers involved in strike action during 2012 were from the mining sector where a strike wave was experienced;
  • Median wage settlement rate during 2012 as reported by Labour Research Services varied between 6.9% and 10%;
  • Working days lost by industry were most prominent in mining (82.4%), followed by manufacturing (5.7%), community (4.1%) and agriculture (3.7%) during 2012;
  • Wages, bonus and other compensation still remain the main reasons for work stoppages in South Africa;
  • In 2012, most workers who were involved in the labour unrest were members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM);
  • According to the report, Gauteng continues to account for the largest number of work stoppages. Gauteng experienced 42 strikes in 2012, up from the 33 in 2011. This presents an increase of 27.3% from 2011.
  • The COSATU stay-away and protest march in Gauteng against the implementation of the e-tolling had a major impact on the province although this was not a strike, but a protest action.
  • The Northern Cape, one of the smallest provinces in relation to economic output, continues to record fewer strikes than other provinces.

The DoL noted that last years' strike action was largely characterised by violence.

According to their spokesperson Nkosinathi Nhleko 'South Africa experienced violent, bloody and deadly industrial actions in the mining, transport and agricultural industries,' reports The Africa Report.

The DoL also highlighted that 'it'll continue to monitor and report on industrial action and also continue to work with the social partners to minimise un-procedural action and to counter violence associated with strike action.'

It'll be interesting to see what the numbers will be next year. As always, FSPBusiness will keep you updated so you can manage your relations with trade unions to minimise strike action.

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