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Worker's Strike Threatens 2010 Progress

World Cup 2010 host South Africa suffered setbacks this week as construction workers in Durban, the country's second largest city, stopped work on the Moses Mabhida stadium in protest over poor pay. Hundreds then marched on the town hall demanding a salary raise. "We must share part of the 2010 pie," a local organizer proclaimed to the workers outside Durban City Hall. The worker's union demands they be paid the minimum wage -- a shockingly low $1.62 per hour -- plus project bonuses totaling $221.46 per month.

If their demands are not met, the 2010 local organizing committee could have a bigger problem on its hands. Lesiba Seshoka, spokesman for the National Union of Mineworkers, which also represents construction workers, warned that a national strike would start in a week's time at each of the 10 stadiums being constructed or renovated across the country.

Local organizing committee chief Danny Jordaan said efforts were already underway to resolve the dispute, which began Wednesday. "We are meeting with the city manager tomorrow, when he will brief us regarding the development. Any dispute must be resolved in the quickest possible time," he said. It's unclear whether the strike would have any effect on the 2010 preliminary draw, which is being held in Durban on Nov. 25. More than 3,000 attendees will be on hand for the event.

Read the whole story at Associated Press »

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