Support Needed for Public Sector Unions in South Africa

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Public Services International (PSI) has asked us to pass on a request for political support from its affiliates in South Africa. Public sector trade unions in South Africa called a general strike on 1 June following a break down in negotiations with the government. The unions are asking for a 10% salary increase (originally 12%), whilst the government is proposing a possible rise of 7.25%. Meanwhile, proposed salary increases of 57% for the State President and 37% for Members of Parliament have fuelled the union’s disillusionment.

The government has retaliated to the strike action by issuing letters of dismissal to more than 600 "essential-service" workers, mainly health care workers, and threatening to dock the pay of many others. The government has also deployed police and defence forces in attempts to curb the strike action.

Many more public sector workers, including municipal and transport workers, joined the strike in a day of action on Wednesday 13 June.

PSI is asking affiliates and sympathisers to show solidarity with public sector workers in South Africa by:

· Sending letters of protest to the South African government demanding the reinstatement of the sacked workers and the resumption of negotiations in good faith;

· Sending messages of support to affiliates in South Africa

A model letter can be found on PSI's website. PSI asks that you "please send copies of the urgent action to PSI at rights@world-psi.org, and to the South African public sector unions at administrator@publicservices.co.za as well as a copy to the South African Embassy in your country.