The Municipal and Allied Trade Union of South Africa (MATUSA) on Thursday issued a statement condemning the SA Police Service for shooting at workers who had gone on strike because the Zululand District Municipality failed to pay wages on the due date.
MATUSA said it was appalled at brutal actions meted out by police on Wednesday.
Kurt Ziervogel, general secretary of the union said “police shot and injured a number of our members earlier today. Workers were striking as a result of the municipality not paying the February salaries”.
Salaries are payable on the 25th day of each month. However, the 25th of February fell on the weekend. As a result, workers said they had expected to get paid on Friday.
On Monday MATUSA members downed tools in protest as they had still not received their pay.
Workers had gathered outside the gates of the municipal offices, where they waited in anticipation of being addressed by the mayor.
Ziervogel said instead of the mayor addressing them, he called the police who opened fire on the strikers. A number of workers were seriously injured and had to be hospitalised.
“MATUSA strongly condemns the actions of the police for once again interfering with force in what was a simple labour issue. Workers have shown that they are prepared to pay the ultimate price to achieve what is rightfully theirs,” said Ziervogel.
The police in Zululand could not be immediately reached for comment.
– African News Agency (ANA)