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South Africa union ends building strike with 12 percent wage deal

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers said on Friday it had agreed to a deal for wage hikes of up to 12 percent with the construction industry, ending a three-week strike.

"This is a major victory for us," union official Issac Ntshangase said in a statement.

The strike in the construction industry, one of several in a number of sectors, had appeared to have a relatively small impact, with many workers refusing to heed union demands to down tools and many building sites remaining active.

Major South African construction firms include Aveng Ltd , Murray & Roberts and Group Five .

Workers in the motor and gold industries have returned to work after strikes that crippled operations at some of the country's biggest producers were resolved last week.

Airline technical workers also returned to work this week, while an ongoing strike by petrol station attendants has caused little disruption so far in Africa's top economy.

With the unemployment rate stuck at about 25 percent for years and poverty gripping millions, many South Africans have said they are more concerned with securing a paycheque than heeding the strike calls of union bosses.

(Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Pascal Fletcher)

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