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South African truckers protest in Johannesburg

October 2, 2012

Truckers in South Africa followed the footsteps of other works in the nation by hosting a massive strike in Johannesburg, according to The Associated Press. The thousands of strikers who gathered together are fighting for an increase in pay. They protested while submitting a petition for a 12 percent pay raise.

The spokesman for the union, Vincent Masoga, said it wanted thousands of people in attendance, and 15,000 people peacefully marched, according to the media outlet. The protesters, armed with signs and banners, joined together at Johannesburg's Beyers Naude Square.

This comes soon after the Lonmin's Marikana mines, where a strike starting in early August, and resulted in 34 deaths in one day and approximately 44 altogether. Labor unrest has spread among the gold, platinum and chrome mines. Other strikes are currently taking place at the Anglo American Platinum, Gold Fields, Samancor Chrome Western Mine and Anglo Gold Ashanti. Not only is this affecting the country as a whole, but it is also influencing investors of these valuable minerals across the globe, the publication reports.

The Markiana strikers returned to work in September, when they were offered a 22 percent increase in pay. As a result of the settlement, many believe it will give other industries the motivation to strike as well, and it may have set a negative precedent for labor relations in the country, according to the news outlet.

"Lonmin should have known that getting wage negotiations to be facilitated by the churches and allowing everybody, no matter their legal status, to play a role in the negotiations will create precedents that they will not be willing to repeat anywhere else," the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the National Union of Mineworkers said in a statement.

According to AllAfrica, a former investigator of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is moving toward the state giving the victims of the Marikana mines financial assistance. However, nothing has been finalized.

"[The victims] want to believe that if they can be part of this process it can assist them in the healing process. We believe that they should be assisted by the state to be here," advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza told the news source.

Those who want to talk about the recent strike can make calls to South Africa using international calling cards

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