Minister of Labour Membathisi Mdladlana was considering resuming public wage negotiations in the troubled security sector, provided no harm came to officials, the Department of Labour said on Thursday.
”I am tempted to allow my officials to go ahead with the hearings in line with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, which will culminate in the promulgation of a sectoral determination,” Mdladlana said from Cape Town, where he was addressing a management-committee meeting of top departmental leaders.
”However, if this route is to be followed, any form of violence or interference with my staff would be detrimental. This is one of the avenues which can be explored to resolve the stalemate.
”It is up to the parties to swallow their pride and find an amicable solution.”
Mdladlana said the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) strike had ”taken ugly proportions” and was a matter of concern to everybody.
The ongoing confrontation between security sector employers and Satawu had caused Mdladlana to suspend the public hearings that were underway.
The increment of an 8% salary increase, in terms of the agreement signed between the employers and the 14 trade unions, is conditional to the minister promulgating a sectoral determination.
Satawu, however, is holding out for an 11% increase.
The department said the process of public hearings will give employers, unions and other interested parties another opportunity to make an input into this process, since only one submission had been received so far.
This would make it possible for the majority of workers in the sector who are not represented by trade unions to participate.
Earlier in the week in Pretoria, the minister said less than 30% of about 211 000 registered security guards were represented by the unions, including Satawu. — Sapa