Pikitup strike suspended

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pretoria - The two-week strike by Pikitup refuse collectors in Johannesburg has been suspended and workers are to return to work immediately.

However, according to the City of Johannesburg full operations are expected by Tuesday as some of the workers had already gone home for the long Easter weekend.

This will be a welcome development as businesses and city residents have had to deal with rising heaps of refuse left on curbs during the strike period, which was posing health concerns. 

While some residents have called for a discount in rates for the month due to the non-delivery of service, a number of communities embarked on initiatives to organise refuse removal in their own neighbourhoods.

Pikitup workers went on strike earlier this month, after a go-slow, demanding among other things, an internal investigation into allegations of corruption and irregular tenders. During the strike, Pikitup managing Director Zami Nkosi, Pikitup Board Chairperson Phumla Radebe and several other board members resigned.

Workers' unions Samwu and Cosatu, in a statement this morning, said the strike action had been suspended to afford a chance for the negotiations to proceed without any hindrance. "The strike action is therefore suspended with immediate effect for parties to further explore avenues to resolve the impasse between the two of them."

However, the unions said that in the event that there was no agreement, Samwu would "invoke solidarity action in its entire membership in the region, as well as explore the possibility of a secondary strike to the entire members of Samwu in the province."

"The strike action will resume on 28 April 2011 and followed by the secondary strike on 29 April 2011 in the event that parties fail to reach an agreement," said the unions. - BuaNews