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Strike in S. Africa affects 2010 World Cup construction
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09:53, November 12, 2007

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Construction of the 2010 FIFA World Cup stadiums in South Africa could be crippled if a payment dispute between construction workers and their employers are not resolved properly, trade union representing the workers threatened on Sunday.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said the strike action, which already halted the construction of a 2010 World Cup stadium in Durban, would spread to other 2010 projects if their demands for more bonuses and safer working environment are not met by Monday.

"We will spread the protest action to all other 2010 projects so that the message is loud and clear," Bonginkosi Mncwabe, a regional coordinator of the NUM, was quoted as saying by the SAPA news agency.

About 1,200 construction workers at the Moses Mabhida 2010 World Cup Stadium in Durban went on strike on Wednesday.

They are demanding project bonuses of 1,500 rand (227 U.S. dollars) a month each, payment of the minimum wage required in the civil engineering sector, while construction companies would pay only 500 rand.

The workers also asked for a health and safety inspector being appointed on site.

The strike took place merely two weeks before FIFA, the world soccer governing body, holds the preliminary draw for the qualifying competition in Durban, one of nine 2010 World Cup host cities.

South Africa, the first African host of the quadrennial soccer extravaganza, kicked off the stadium construction in earnest at the beginning of the year. A total of 10 stadiums need to be newly constructed or refurbished within a tight schedule.

Local organizing committee has repeatedly assured that all construction work would be finished on time, despite skepticism over the country's ability to host a World Cup.

Source: Xinhua

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