No end to rubbish strike

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pretoria - The City of Johannesburg says it is disappointed with the outcome of the consultation meeting with unions on Monday aimed at ending the strike by refuse workers.

The city's spokesperson Gabu Tugwana said management had hoped the strike would have been resolved so that SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) members could resume work on Tuesday. 

"This refusal to return to work by Samwu workers no later than Tuesday, has forced the city and Pikitup to explore the option of taking legal action to force the union members to return to work now that all four demands were met," Tugwana said.

This is despite assurances made by Samwu on Monday that an agreement to end the strike was in sight. 

"We are very happy with the state of negotiations and we will be taking a proposal to the workers and our mandate will depend on what they say," he said the union's spokesperson Tahir Sema told BuaNews on Monday. He refused to say what proposals negotiators had agreed on.

Tugwana said a meeting held with Samwu over the weekend responded to all four issues raised by the union on which the Commissioner of the South African Local Government Bargaining Council had granted a certificate allowing Samwu to embark on a protected strike. 

The city was, meanwhile, stepping up efforts to reduce the piling trash outside private residents and business premises. 

Street corners are gradually being cleared of the piles of rubbish while residents and business with means of transport are requested to take the garbage to garden and landfill sites. Operating hours have also been extended at these sites to accommodate residents who are at work during the day. 

Health inspectors are also being assigned to the sites to access the situation and take appropriate measures to alleviate the situation. 

Tugwana said law enforcement agencies have been alerted to monitor activities at sites. - BuaNews