SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) on Sunday said they would not be involved in the unprotected strike at Johannesburg, saying it had been talking to management on salary matters.
The union’s Johannesburg region spokesperson Paul Tlhabang, who claimed he had only heard about the strike through the media on Friday, said Samwu did not want to be part of the “festival of strikes” in the country.
“We have requested a meeting with Joburg Zoo shop stewards so they can brief us about this … we only learned about the strike on the news. To us, this looks like sponsored anarchy because we have been engaging management across all municipality entities in the city,” said Tlhabang.
“We do not know what informed this strike action at the zoo … we do not want to be part of a festival of strikes happening now.”
The strike started on Thursday evening. On Friday, buses carrying schoolchildren were turned away due to the strike.
Johannesburg City Parks spokesperson Jenny Moodley said a court interdict was obtained on Friday directing striking workers to return to work.
“We are hopeful that our employees will return to work on Monday. The court interdict directs them to return or face disciplinary action,” Moodley said on Sunday.
At least 300 volunteers have taken on the task of cleaning up and feeding the animals, although there were incidents of intimidation against volunteers to stop working at the zoo since Friday, she said.
Workers wanted management to address salary progression and job grading issues at the zoo. The workers downed tools because they were not satisfied with attempts made last year to address their grievances and demanded that management attend to their concerns immediately.
– African News Agency (ANA)