Answer on cleaners’ wage settlement expected by Friday

2011-08-24 13:14

Striking cleaners were mulling wage settlement proposals by employers with an answer expected by Friday, the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) said.

“In the meantime, the strike action continues until such time that workers accept or reject the proposals,” said Satawu spokesperson Mamokgethi Reagoikanya Molopyane.

According to a statement announcing it would strike from August 8, core union demands are a basic salary of R4 200, a 13th cheque equivalent to a month’s salary, and 40 hours of work per week. Those earning above R4 200 should get a 10% increase.

The union also raised problem working conditions such as working with strong cleaning chemicals which could cause respiratory ailments, and said the industry was characterised by physical and verbal abuse.

It also wanted members in rural areas to earn the same as their counterparts in cities.

Molopyane said the union was to have met employers tomorrow but had asked that this take place on Friday instead.

“We are optimistic that our conflict with cleaning employers will be balanced by a level of understanding and cooperation in that meeting,” she said.

The union was careful to manage talks in a way that workers did not suffer, and felt that talks had been constructive and concentrated on what was best for the industry.

Employers had made changes to their previous positions and had a different mindset regarding a living wage.

Besides Satawu, also seeking increases were the SA Municipal Workers Union; the National Security and Unqualified Workers’ Union; the SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers’ Union; the National Union of Hotel Restaurant Catering; Commercial Health and Allied Workers; the SA Cleaners, Security and Allied Workers’ Union; the Democratic Union of Security Workers; the Hotel, Liquor, Catering Commercial and Allied Workers’ Union of SA; and the Professional Transport and Allied Workers’ Union of SA.

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