The City of Ekurhuleni has dismissed 40 waste collection workers for gross misconduct following disruptions in waste collection services in Kempton Park.
It is alleged that the workers went on the rampage, harassing, assaulting and intimidating a crew that was doing collections on Saturday.
“In that incident, a truck driver and an operator were doused with petrol but managed to escape uninjured before their truck was set alight,” said the city’s spokesperson, Themba Gadebe.
Other incidents of lawless implicating the dismissed employees include the unlawful use of municipal trucks to prevent vehicles that are used for litter pickers and transfer station employees from exiting the depot.
“The perpetrators were not even scheduled to perform functions on 1 February 2020 and their presence at the depot can only be construed to have been for the purposes of disrupting the operations of the employer,” said the city on Monday.
During the disruptions, four trucks belonging to service providers were turned away and could not render services.
According to the city, municipal employees left their work station to intimidate and harass private contractors, who were busy with refuse removal rounds in another area last Tuesday.
“The City has summarily terminated the employment of these 40 waste collection workers based at the Kempton Park waste depot with immediate effect, in accordance with Labour Relations legislation that provides for summary dismissal in circumstances that call for dispensing with the pre-dismissal procedures,” said Gadebe.
He said the city views this conduct as constituting exceptional circumstances, as envisaged in Schedule 8 (4), sub-section 4 of the Labour Relations Act, whereby pre-dismissal procedures may be dispensed.
“The conduct of these employees is clearly endangering the lives and safety of people in the municipality and service providers, and there is a high propensity for the continuation of damages to the property of the municipality and service providers should these persons continue in the service of the municipality.”
The City will implement an operational plan for clearing the waste collection backlog, while also working to ensuring the safety of waste collection workers. – SAnews.gov.za