Municipalities prepare for strike action

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pretoria - With municipal workers expected to go on strike from Monday, municipalities are finalising contingency plans and asking residents for help during the strike period.

With their wage demands unmet, workers belong to the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) are expected to begin strike action on Monday, while the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) is expected to join in later in the week.

The trade unions have asked for an 18% or R2 000 increase, while the South African Local Government Association has offered 6.08% increase.

The City of Cape Town said it would heighten security measures at all municipal buildings to prevent possible violent outbreaks.

From Monday, visitors to municipal buildings will have to ensure that they have proof of an appointment with a staff member in the building, or their utility bill as reference to gain access to the building.

Contingency measures have been put in place to minimise the impact on service delivery.

The City expects solid waste services to be affected as most of the Solid Waste Management Department staff has been allowed to strike for a certain time period.

"Affected services include refuse removal in formal and informal areas, street sweeping, emptying of public bins and the removal of illegal dumping, as well as services to businesses and industries," it said.

The City has asked for residents to help by moving their bins back into their properties if refuse is not collected on the scheduled day and to put it out again on the scheduled day the following week.

Those living in informal settlements have been asked to make use of the shipping containers placed throughout their area.

The City stressed that the principle of 'no work no remuneration' will apply to all municipal staff on strike.

In the Eastern Cape, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality will also implement a strike management plan to counter the anticipated strike action of Samwu and Imatu.

According to the municipality's chairperson for Corporate Services, Councillor Nomamerica Magopeni, the plan includes the establishment of a Strike Management Centre.

"The 'no work no pay' rule will be strictly applied and we would like to make it clear that employees at essential services will not be allowed to strike and disciplinary action will be taken against those who do," she said.

The municipality said contingency plans were in place and will be implemented if required.

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