Armour clad South African soldiers are trying to protect those scabbing on the 500,000 strong public sector strike, while police wounded three strikers with rubber bullets, according to the BBC, which also implicates the army itself in the scabbing.
Army medical staff have already been brought in to provide care in some hospitals to try and cover what analysts say is one of the biggest strikes in the country's history.
The union federation announced
"Cosatu [Congress of South African Trade Unions] will not allow a defeat of the public sector strike. The implications of such a defeat to workers as a whole would be devastating," the union federation said.
Unless the government agrees to raise wages by 10%, to keep ahead of the 7% inflation rate,
It said all workers, such as those in the crucial mining and manufacturing sectors, will go on a "solidarity strike" starting on Monday, building up to a "complete strike" next Wednesday.
At present, the government is offering a 6.5% increase.
The BBC's Mpho Lakaje in
Striking nurses had been warned they would be fired unless they return to work by Monday.
It’s not every day that the mainstream media so clearly acknowledge scabbing, rubber bullets and arrests as forms of violence and threats to workers’ living standards and livelihoods as violent intimidation. Bravo!