Strikes cost SA R6.1bn in 2014
Johannesburg - South Africa recorded a total of 88 strikes in 2014 which cost the economy R6.1 billion, according to new data released by the Department of Labour.
Although the figure has decreased compared to the 114 strikes recorded in 2014, it still had a bad impact on the economy and labour market as more working days and hours were lost. This was because in 2013, on average strikes lasted 1-to-5 working days as compared to up to 20 last year.
Most of the strike actions revolved around wages, bonuses and other compensation disputes, accounting to 98.4% to the total working days lost. In many of the industries, wage settlements were lower than initial demands, according to the report.
“By industry most strikes in 2014 occurred in the community, social and personal services industry. Followed by manufacturing industry. Few strikes were recorded in finance and utilities industries,” said the department in a statement.
However, not all recorded work stoppages were protected, in compliance with the labour relations act. According to the report released on Thursday, 48% of the total number of strikes which took place in 2014 were unprotected, meaning workers embarked on the action illegally.
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union ( Amcu) was responsible for the majority of strikes staged during the past year, followed by Metalworkers Union of SA, Numsa.