On Monday, some 90,000 construction workers in the mining industry stopped work to demand a 13 percent pay increase.
On the same day, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) issued a statement saying, “They cannot ... plead poverty, and must share their super-profits with workers who risk life and limb every day in one of the most dangerous working environments.”Also, on Monday, South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union spokesman Vincent Masoga issued a statement saying 1,300 aircraft maintenance technicians went on strike to demand a 12 percent wage increase.
South Africa's mining sector has been paralyzed by a series of wildcat strikes over miners' low pay since August, 2012. Dozens of people have so far been killed in the strike-related violence.
In February 2013, South African security guards shot dead mineworkers outside Amplats Siphumelele mine in the northwestern city of Rustenburg following a clash between rival union factions.
South Africa’s mining sector represents 6 percent of the country’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with having a labor force of more than half a million workers. It also generates 60 percent of total export revenues.
In June, South African President Jacob Zuma called for dialogue among all stakeholders in the mining sector, saying, “All stakeholders, government, management in the mining sector, trade union movement in particular should talk and find a way to deal with this matter.”
The South African president went on to say that the stakeholders have the capacity to discuss and agree about the problems, including strikes and deadly clashes faced by the mining industry.