eThekwini staff ordered back to work

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pretoria - EThekwini essential services workers, who fail to report for duty today, may find themselves without a job.

The Labour Court has granted the municipality an interim order compelling striking workers in the essential services to return to work immediately.

"Staff employed at Metro Water, Electricity and Durban Solid Waste Units have been interdicted and restrained from participating in the strike. They have been ordered to return to work on Friday.

"Failure to comply with this instruction may result in the termination of employment contracts of individuals," warned municipal spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng.

The municipality reported minimal disruptions since the strike started on Monday, with most municipal offices and depots being operational on Thursday.

"Only a few minor incidents of intimidation and assault were reported. A total of 1 930 employees were recorded as absent without permission, representing 8.3%," Mofokeng said.

Meanwhile, the municipality has advised its customers to use their previous month's bills as a guide when making payments, as there might be delays in the receipt of this month's accounts due to the strike action.

Across the country, SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) and Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) members have been on strike since Monday. They want an 18% increase, provided that the minimum cash adjustment is not less than R2 000, with effect from July 2011.

The SA Local Government Association (Salga) says the demand for 18% is not only "unreasonable" but will impact the budgets of member municipalities adversely. Salga is offering 6.08%.

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