/ 5 August 2011

Cleaning sector expected to strike

The cleaning sector is planning to go on strike after wage negotiations with employers failed, the Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Friday.

“If no agreement is reached over 100 000 of the country’s most exploited workers will embark on a national strike on Monday, August 8,” spokesperson Patrick Craven said on Friday.

Cosatu supported the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu), the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu), and six other unions’ decision.

“Their conditions of employment remain pathetic,” Craven said.

The Hotel, Liquor, Catering Commercial, and Allied Workers’ Union of South Africa (Hotelicca) and the Professional Transport and Allied Workers’ Union of South Africa went on strike on Monday.

The remaining unions, Satawu, Samwu, National Security and Unqualified Workers’ Union, the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers’ Union, the National Union of Hotel Restaurant Catering, Commercial Health and Allied Workers, the South African Cleaners, Security and Allied Workers’ Union, and the Democratic Union of Security Workers, would join the strike on Monday.

The strike is currently affecting cleaning at old age homes, private hospitals, shopping centres, and government institutions.

The unions are demanding that the salaries of workers earning less than R2 400 a month be increased to R4 200 a month.

Those earning above R4 200 should get a 10% increase.

Other demands included a 13th cheque, an eight-hour working day, and for members in rural areas to be paid the same as their urban colleagues.

“This is a slave-wage industry,” Satawu said on Friday.

“Our members are justified in calling for an improved offer from the employers.”

Cosatu urged its members and all South Africans to support the cleaning sector workers. — Sapa