South African labor unions have rejected a government proposal to review planned increases for civil servants days before they were due to be implemented.
The Public Servants Association, which represents 230,000 government workers, said the state on Tuesday asked to review the last leg of a three-year pay agreement because it couldn’t afford it.
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is due to announce the annual budget on Wednesday.
“The timing of the proposal, a few days before the adjustments were due to be implemented, speaks of a government that regards public servants as an easy target to resolve its financial woes,” the PSA said.
The Central Executive Committee of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the country’s biggest labor federation, said if the proposal made its way into the budget speech it would be seen “as a declaration of war,” according to News24, an Internet news site.