eThekwini prepares for strike action

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pretoria - EThekwini Municipality says it has put in place contingency plans to ensure that there is minimal disruption to services as trade unions prepare to down tools next week.

Municipal spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng said the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) has given notice to the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) of their intention to strike in support of their wage demands as from 15 August 2011, with Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) following suite on 19 August 2011.

"The strike is in response to the dispute between SALGA and the unions regarding the wage negotiations in respect of salary increases for 2011/2012, the unions are demanding an 18% wage increase, whilst SALGA has offered a 6.08% increase," Mofokeng said.

He noted that essential services such as Water and Sanitation, Cleansing and Solid Waste, Electricity, Health, Metropolitan Police and Emergency Services will not be affected by the strike as employees in these units are legally required to work during the strike.

City Manager Dr Michael Sutcliffe has appealed for patience and cooperation during the time and urged residents and businesses to be patient until a resolution is reached.

"There may be some interruptions to our services but the contingency plans the City has prepared will ensure that critical services will continue," Sutcliffe said. He warned that the municipality will apply the principle of no work, no pay.

Employees and essential services workers who illegally embark on strike action will be subjected to disciplinary action.

Head of Human Resources, Dave Cloeteman, assured that security will be enhanced, particularly at remote depots and offices, including tightening access control to buildings and depots.

"In addition, Emergency Service and Metro Police will be on high alert. The City has appealed to all employees participating in the strike to do so in a non-violent manner and that all cases of violence, damage to property and breaches of security will not be tolerated and such incidents should be reported to the relevant authorities," said Cloeteman.

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