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Man Utd have opened up a five point gap at the top of the table, and with a home game against Blackburn on Saturday things are looking rosey for the Red Devils.

The decision to sack around 400 builders at one of the 2010 South Africa World Cup stadiums for going on strike, could threaten the July completion deadline, their union and employers said.

“About 400 of the construction workers at Mbombela stadium, most of them members of the National Union of Mine Workers (NUM), who have been on illegal strike were sacked on Tuesday,” George Ledwaba, the union’s local spokesman told AFP.

“If this strike, which began on February 6, goes on for another week, it will affect the scheduled completion date of the stadium,” he said.

“Our target completion time is July … we will probably have to extend this deadline as a result of the strike,” the stadium construction manager, Neil Fourie, told AFP.

He said that the workers walked out over wages and bonuses.

Ledwaba condemned the strike by his union members which he said was “illegal” and “irresponsible” because, according to him, they did not follow due process before the walkout

Similar disputes have previously broken out at stadiums in Durban and Cape Town, but World Cup organisers say they are confident those projects will be completed on time.

Ten stadiums in nine cities will play host to the 2010 World Cup, the first time the tournament has been staged in Africa.

The FIFA deadline for the completion of all the stadiums is October 15.

Man Utd have opened up a five point gap at the top of the table, and with a home game against Blackburn on Saturday things are looking rosey for the Red Devils.

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