Refuse collectors embark on strike

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pretoria - Pikitup employees affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) will embark on a full blown strike today, with a march planned in Johannesburg.

"Members will gather at Joubert Park in Johannesburg at 10 am this morning where they will be presented with management's proposal. It is a full blown strike," SAMWU's shop steward Phumlile Shange told BuaNews on Thursday.

This as management at Pikitup presented a proposal to the union on Wednesday on how the impasse can be resolved. 

Pikitup's communication manager Pansy Oyedele said: "SAMWU has indicated that it will take the proposal presented to it by Pikitup back to its membership today to receive a mandate. While the industrial action is continuing Pikitup management is doing everything possible to resolve the issues."

Some of the demands of the union include that management look into wage disparities and that an investigation be commissioned into corruption and irregular tenders that were awarded. The union is also demanding the suspension, pending the outcome of an investigation, of the MD, CFO, fleet executive, secretary of the company and fleet GM, over issues of corruption.

Uncollected refuse has already been building up in many parts of Johannesburg, as employees at certain depots were on a go slow. In some suburbs black bins have been left on the curb in anticipation of the refuse removal trucks for more than a week.

As a result of the strike Pikitup said four landfill sites are open and are accepting domestic refuse. The sites are: 
- Goudkoppies - Houthammer Road, Devland
- Marie Louise - Dobsonville Road in Roodepoort
- Robinson Deep - Turffontein Road, Turffontein 
- Ennerdale - Old Lawley Road, Lawley

"As a final resort, residents may also be able to deposit their refuse at the 42 garden sites located around the city," said Oyedele. - BuaNews