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19 Dec 2015
11:49 am

Pikitup workers return to work


Employees were demanding that they be paid a 14th cheque.

Striking members of the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) at waste removal entity Pikitup returned to work on Saturday, the company said.

Spokesperson Jacky Mashapu said the union agreed to halt the illegal strike after a meeting between the parties on Friday.

“The City of Joburg made it clear to the union that it would not negotiate while workers were on the streets and on an illegal strike, because that would set a bad precedent. The union representatives agreed to stop the illegal strike; workers have reported to work today [Saturday],” he said.

Pikitup workers embarked on another strike on Friday, barely three weeks after an agreement was signed with the employer, following an intervention by Gauteng human settlements and co-operative governance MEC Jacob Mamabolo.

The workers had downed tools on November 23, demanding salary hikes from R6000 to R10,000 and that the company attend to salary disparities. They also demanded the resignation of managing director Amanda Nair.

The second unprotected strike on Friday saw hundreds of employees demanding that they be paid a 14th cheque, which the union said was a once-off incentive Pikitup promised to pay as part of the agreement.

Mashapu said consultations with Samwu would continue.

The previous strike saw rubbish piling up on street corners across the Johannesburg CBD and residential areas.
A court interdict obtained by Pikitup against the strikers at the time was ignored, prompting the company to hire the Red Ants security service to help clear the backlog. At least four contract workers were shot and wounded during the strike.

– African News Agency (ANA)