Municipal workers set to strike ahead of elections

SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) members will embark on a national strike on Friday following a deadlock on wage negotiations, the New Age newspaper reported on Monday.

Samwu has 220 000 members at municipalities across the country.

Workers are demanding an 18% wage increase.

They will down tools on Friday, five days before the local government elections.

They are demanding that President Jacob Zuma not sign the Municipal Amendment Bill into law. The Bill is intended to depoliticise municipalities and ensure they appoint skilled people.

Samwu will also demand that Zuma fire Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka and that provincial governments be scrapped.

Samwu leaders have insisted the strike action is intended merely to advance workers’ interests. But ANC leaders have accused Samwu, the largest municipal union, of deliberately trying to sabotage its election campaign.

The dispute is likely to deepen long-standing tension between Samwu and the ANC.
Since the early 1990s the two organisations have been on a collision course because of their differences over issues such as local government restructuring and the privatisation of key state assets. - Sapa and Staff reporter

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