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07 Sep 2007 17:46
Police fired rubber bullets at a group of striking refuse workers who turned violent in Pretoria West on Friday, stoning waste-removal trucks.
Captain Lucas Sithole said about 200 workers gathered outside the city’s waste-management offices at 12.30pm.
They stoned trucks entering and leaving the yard—damaging one of them—and also stoned the police when they arrived, he said.
Although the group had since dispersed, police were keeping a watch on the situation.
Sithole said no one was injured in the protest, which lasted about an hour.
The workers were among 1 268 who downed tools on Monday, demanding they be directly employed by the municipality rather than through labour-brokerage companies contracted to the council.
Negotiations between their union, the South African Municipal Workers’ Union, and the council stalled at 6pm on Thursday.
They will meet again on Monday when the municipality will reply to grievances raised in a memorandum handed over on August 8.
A court interdict was issued on Wednesday, ordering the workers to stop intimidating and assaulting workers still at their posts and to end their illegal strike.—Sapa
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