19 Aug 2010

South Africa public sector strike begins

6:55 am on 19 August 2010

Public sector workers in South Africa have begun an indefinite pay strike.

Unions affiliated with Cosatu, South Africa's main union federation, rejected the latest government offer of 7%, and are holding out for an 8.6% rise.

The strike reportedly got off to a slow start, though unions say more than a million people could take part, the BBC says.

Many schools, hospitals and public offices are expected to be affected.

Along with the pay demand, police, teachers, doctors, and nurses want improved housing subsidies and other benefits, but South Africa's government says it can barely afford the 7% offer it has put on the table.