I know that there are various opinions on unions here, and the pros and cons. Although I am fairly neutral on unions in general myself, I thought I would share here what unions tend to be like here in South Africa.
The local massive union for security guards, Satawu, has been striking for a couple of weeks now here. The strikes have gotten violent, with the strikers vandalizing, assualting folks, shooting, stabbings, etc....
Yesterday they marched past the embassy here, I was out front of the building watching(inside the embassy wall). Thousands (6,000 according to the news here) of angry strikers marched past, almost all had clubs. Some stopped and threw stones at me, but i was too far back too hit. They smashed the windows out on 20 or so cars on the street in front(my South African collegues cars), dumped over my buddy's BMW and about 6 guys jumped up and down on it, broke the windows in the front entrance screening area on the street.
A police helicopter that was following the mob down the street did a fast turn when he saw the group had stopped at the embassy. He was very low and had to flare at the last minute when he realized he was right up on the embassy building. I figured he missed the building by 5-10 feet.
I saw some pics tonight of what some of these guys did a couple blocks up from here before they got to the embassy.