World Cup Security Workers Protest

In November of 2007 the workers building Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium staged a wildcat strike, demanding monthly project bonuses and better Health and Safety standards. Their action helped inspire a wave of such work stoppages at stadium sites throughout the country, and contributed to one of the abiding narrative themes of the World Cup’s lead-up: would the infrastructure be ready in time? Or would South Africa’s restive working classes spoil the party? In the end, the stadia were completed and a football tournament has commenced. But the protest continues, emanating now not from construction workers — whose employment has of course expired — but from the stewards charged with maintaining stadium security. After Germany played Australia in Durban on 13 June (4-0 to the former) Moses Mabhida security workers demonstrated outside the stadium, insisting they be paid the wage agreed to in their contract — the workers are employed by the private company Stallion Security — rather than the significantly reduced rate they have allegedly received. Further demonstrations followed on the morning of the 15th. Moses Mabhida was a labor hero, a key figure in the trade-union wing of the movement against apartheid. The stadium that bears his name is an impressive tribute to a great activist; it is also a poignant reminder that his work is unfinished.

Related Posts

The World Cup III: In The Stadium's Shadow     Fifteen years after the new South Africa's first democratic elections, the dream of a true, non-racial, economically just "Rainbow Nation" endures. But so too do the inequalities of race and class that are the legacy of apartheid and its colonialist antecedents. In April of 2009 Jacob Zuma...
The World Cup: Will South Africa Shine?   I. Will South Africa Shine? In Greenmarket Square in Cape Town, South Africa, tourists can buy an assortment of familiar souvenirs--wooden bowls and bracelets, colorful jewelry, ceramics, and prints--meant to evoke an essential, generic Africa. The oil paintings sold in one representative stall...
Labor Day Manifestation sa Maynila It was and remains a great inspiration to have participated in yesterday's Labor Day rally in Manila. Along with the electrifying militancy of a large number of leftist organizations including unions, political parties, campus activists, national activists, women's advocacy groups and many many othe...
Bafana Bafana: The Reckoning When Siphiwe Tshabalala scored for Bafana Bafana against Mexico on June 11, he provided the World Cup the sublime opening note longed for by his country, and by followers of football across the planet. Mexico's late equalizer dampened the local mood only slightly. Bafana Bafana had looked fresh, pla...

Eli Jelly-Schapiro