Striking South Africa workers start fires, loot stalls

August 16, 2011 16:35


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CAPE TOWN - Striking South African municipal workers set fire to rubbish in Cape Town streets and looted road-side vendors on Tuesday, turning up the heat in labor disputes that have ripped through Africa's largest economy.

More than 200,000 municipal workers, seeking 18 percent wage increases, walked out on Monday in an indefinite strike that is expected to hit services in urban areas.

Their action followed a string of stoppages in the country's mining and fuel sectors that have threatened to slow growth in a stagnant economy.

Workers wearing union T-shirts were seen in national TV broadcasts overturning waste baskets, setting fire to rubbish piled on streets and stealing items from stalls in the Cape Town city center.

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