Brian Sokutu
Senior Print Journalist
2 minute read
16 Jun 2018
6:20 am

Samwu planning protest, strike in Joburg

Brian Sokutu

Entities like clinics, libraries, Joburg Water, municipal police and Pikitup are allegedly ready to strike, but the city has received no such notice.

Pikitup workers during a protest in Johannesburg's CBD, 2016. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) yesterday tabled a list of grievances to back up its plan of mobilising members to stage a protest against the Joburg city council.

Although falling short of announcing a date for the campaign, regional secretary Bafana Zungu said the grievances were:

  • Failure by the Joburg city council to repay the union its membership subscriptions deducted from members, dating back to last August and said to be amounting to “millions of rands”. Samwu claimed this was despite a Labour Appeal Court ruling in the union’s favour.
  • A dispute in the bargaining forum over employees’ performance management and effective delivery of service to communities.
  • The use of external attorneys and consultants at exorbitant fees and less use of employed staff.
  • Failure by the city to act on corruption – a matter the union said would be referred to the public protector.
  • The billing crisis.

On the Metrobus strike, Zungu said union members would not participate in the labour action “but will not go to work for fear of being attacked by those on strike”.

Elaborating on the planned protest, he said the shop-stewards and “campaign committee on the ground is ready and mobilising for the strike”, to include most sectors of the municipality. These include clinics, libraries, Joburg Water, municipal police and Pikitup, among others.

However, Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba’s spokesperson, Luyanda Mfeka, denied Samwu’s subscription claims as being “without basis”.

“The truth is that the matter was heard as part of ongoing legal action brought before the Labour Court on June 6. This was subsequently postponed.”

The city also denied a claim that there were “pending matters” at the bargaining council related to performance management.

On corruption, Mfeka said: “To date, the city’s Group Forensic Investigation Services has investigated over 3 500 cases, involving a staggering R18 billion in fraud, corruption and maladministration. Of these, 709 people have been arrested.”

Mfeka confirmed the city has received no notice of the intended strike.

brians@citizen.co.za

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