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Message-ID: <01bfbc26$244d7b60$0100007f@localhost>
Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 16:24:18 +0100
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YorkU.CA>
From: Anna Weekes <samwu@WN.APC.ORG>
Subject: SAMWU Press Statement: Wages settled!

SAMWU Press Statement: Wages settled!

SAMWU Press Release
Friday May 12th, 2000 5pm

National wage negotiations in the municipal sector, covering 240 thousand municipal workers, were settled late this afternoon.

The South African Municipal Workers Union and the SA Local Government Association agreed on a wage increase of the greater of 6% or R230 across the board.

SAMWU also managed to have the minimum wage increased from R1335 per month to R1600 per month. Last year was the first time that municipal workers, some of whom earned R400 per month previously, achieved a minimum wage in the sector.

The settlement comes after 4 rounds of tense bargaining, where the employers started off by offering no increase at all. By the final round of bargaining, industrial action seemed imminent when the bosses were only prepared to offer R112 for the lowest paid workers (equal to a 7.5% increase) earning up to R3000 and then 5.5% for those earning between R3000 and R10 000.

The capitulation of the bosses to SAMWU's demands came only after the union began preparations for industrial action.

Although the settlement still does not constitute a living wage for municipal workers, SAMWU is pleased that the bosses were finally forced to agree to a settlement of double what they were offering in the final round for workers on the lower levels.

For comment contact Dale Forbes on 083 6512959

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