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South Africa MTN, workers agree deal to end 2-month strike

Johannesburg – South African mobile operator MTN Group and union leaders reached a deal over bonuses on Thursday, ending two months strike by the workers.
About 2,000 workers led by the Communications Workers Union (CWU) downed tools in May at Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator, demanding eight per cent pay rise and 16 per cent bonus payment.

The CWU said it had agreed to an eight per cent bonus payment this year and 12 per cent next year.

Both payments are guaranteed and not related to the performance of the company.

“Members are expected to go back to work within two days after the signing of the agreement”, CWU General Secretary Aubrey Tshabalala said.

The two parties failed to reach a deal on monthly wages, but the CWU has said it would accept MTN’s eight per cent offer if performance conditions are removed.
MTN, along with its rivals in South Africa, is trying to contain costs in the face of tough competition that has hit profit margins.

The company, which reported nine per cent increase in full year profit in March, employs about 6,500 people in South Africa, where it trails rival Vodacom by subscriber numbers.

The strike disrupted the supply of some new mobile phones in its home market.

The end of the strike follows the appointment of Mteto Nyati as Chief Executive of the South African business after the resignation of Ahmad Farroukh last week.


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