The country’s major industries including auto and mining have been warned of possible strike action.
This week, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) said they would have no choice but to down tools should negotiations in their respective industries not yield desirable results.
Wage negotiations will be starting this month in several key industries.
Wage talks between employers in the automotive industry and unions have collapsed in their infancy.
Meanwhile, Amcu says it will only give platinum miners four opportunities to state their case against their R17,000 minimum pay demand, saying strike action is not ruled out should they not get what they want.
Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa said they won’t be deterred to fight for workers.
“The only weapon that we’ve, if we fail in the boardroom to engage with that employer, is to exercise our Constitutional right to strike.
“And we’re not striking because we’re undermining the efforts of the administration and the government, but we’re undermining the tendency and the status quo that no one dares to challenge.”
South Africa has the worst worker, employer relations globally in the world according to the world economic forum.
This is likely to worsen as unions fight to keep up with demands of the dwindling economy which has pushed the cost of living for workers to new heights.