Thousands of municipal workers set to strike

Up to 60 000 workers aligned with the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) will stage a nationwide strike following a failed application by their employer to halt the industrial action, a union official said on Sunday.

“The strike will start on Monday,” said Samwu deputy general secretary Walter Theledi.

This comes after the Labour Court on Saturday struck from its roll an interdict lodged by the South African Local Government Association (Salga) on Friday.

Salga warned workers that the court did not dismiss the case, but had struck it from the roll due to a lack of urgency.

However the court did not pronounce on whether the strike was protected or not.

“Should workers strike on Monday it is at their own risk, and should the court later decide that the strike is illegal and unprotected, workers can be dismissed according to the Labour Relations Act,” warned Salga CEO Xolile George.

But Samwu disagreed.

“[What the court pronounced] means you have lost … so the strike will continue,” said Theledi.

Job evaluation system
Salga, he said, was defying the court’s decision by
“threatening” Samwu members.

“They could not stop the strike on legal grounds now they are trying to threaten our members.”

Municipal workers are demanding a job evaluation system to grade all jobs in the local government sector.

The union also accused Salga of firing workers, thereby undermining service delivery and wasting money on expensive lawyers to handle labour related cases.

Salga said it was surprised with the union’s demands as there were already agreements signed by itself and Samwu.

“There is an existing agreement on the disciplinary code and it expires in 2012,” George said.

To change the agreement, he said, the union would have to wait until the existing agreement expired.

He said people who worked in departments rendering essential services would not allowed to participate in the strike action. – Sapa

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertisting

Test backlog skews SA’s corona stats

With thousands of samples still waiting to be processed, labs are racing to ramp up testing to help the government gain a better idea of how prevalent Covid-19 really is

M&G’s latest Covid-19 projections

Covid-19 numbers are prompting disaster declarations and dramatic action across South Africa this week. All steps should be directed by numbers

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories