Workers claim victory as strike ends

A wage agreement signed in Kempton Park between the SA Local Government Association (Salga) and the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) on Friday has brought the three-week-long municipal strike to an end, Samwu said.

According to the agreement a minimum wage of R2 100 would be instituted. Workers earning between R2 100 and R3 200 will receive a nine percent salary increase, with eight percent for those earning more than R3 200.

The agreement also secures a wage increase equal to the inflation rate plus one percent for 2003, and inflation plus 1,5% for 2004.

”This agreement is a victory for the mass of Samwu members that went on strike,” Samwu’s chief negotiator Dale Forbes said.

”Just last week Salga was refusing to talk to us. By Monday they forgot their stance as the continued pressure of our members began to take its toll.”

He said Samwu has secured its key demands for a minimum wage and a higher increase for the lowest paid workers.

”This continues our campaign to reduce the unacceptable wage gap between the highest and the lowest paid worker.”

He said workers would resume their duties on Monday.

A separate dispute over the high salaries of department heads and municipal managers would be pursued in the bargaining council in the coming months. – Sapa

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