Cosatu warns of total shutdown
Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has threatened a total shutdown of all services.
He also confirmed that the strikers will intensify their protest action if no deal is reached with government. He was speaking at an urgent media conference in Johannesburg.
Vavi said the unions are issuing seven days to the governement from August 26 to meet their demands. If not there will be a total shutdown of all services.
"So by next Thursday, if the current strike is not resolved, the entire economy of South Africa will be shut down"
Cosatu also made calls for workers to intensify their protest action. Vavi asked that every worker to not go to work.
"Every Cosatu affiliated union must on August 26 submit [a seven-day] notice to their employers to embark on a secondary strike,
“We are willing to work with a skeleton staff for essential services, but government is refusing to do so.”
He said government has been given a chance to stop the suffering by meeting their demands but has chosen not to do.
He aslo slammed the government's wage offer of 8.5%, calling it misleading and an attempt to confuse the public.
"No 8.5 percent wage offer was tabled. Government has been negotiating with the media rather than unions," he said.
Government spokesman Themba Maseko said on Monday that there was only one tenth of a percentage difference between the unions' demands and the state's offer.