The two-week long strike by construction workers building Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium came to an end on Monday after workers accepted an offer made by the Group Five-WBHO consortium.

National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) regional coordinator Bonginkosi Mncwabe said workers would return to work on Tuesday morning.

“The deal does address all the issues that we raised.”

He also confirmed that the secondary strike, which was scheduled to hit other 2010 projects, the Gautrain and Durban’s King Shaka International Airport, would not go ahead on Tuesday.

NUM had demanded project bonuses of R1 500 a month for each worker. It also demanded that subcontractors meet minimum wage requirements for the civil engineering sector.

However, Mncwabe said that while subcontracted workers would earn R11,98 per hour, a committee had been established to deal with the issue of back pay.

The consortium earlier argued that not all the subcontracting firms fell under the sectoral wage determination for the South African Federation of Engineering Contractors (Safec) and therefore it had no control over the wages paid to subcontractors.

Mncwabe said an agreement had been reached on a full-time safety officer being elected by the workers.

He said the stadium was two months ahead of schedule before the strike began and did not expect it to have any impact on the completion date.

Group Five-WBHO KwaZulu Natal director Craig Jessop could not immediately be reached for comment.

PUBLICATION: Mail & Guardian
DATED: 19th November 2007