PSA may strike during World Cup

2010-06-11 13:14

The Public Servants’ Association (PSA) may strike during the Fifa

World Cup, it said after reports that it had signed an agreement not to embark

on industrial action for 30 days.

The PSA informed Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma that

there was no guarantee of its members not striking or protesting during the

tournament, said the union, which represents more than 210 000 public sector

employees.

In a statement on Friday, the PSA said it remained in dispute with

the state after salary negotiations deadlocked.

“An official of the [home affairs] department phoned the PSA

negotiator in the departmental bargaining chamber enquiring whether the PSA

would be willing to enter into such an agreement,” the PSA said.

“The official was informed that the PSA would definitely not be

willing to comply.” The PSA claimed that the department asked an employee who

was a PSA member to sign the agreement on behalf of the PSA.

“This is nothing less than intimidation by the department, which is

totally unacceptable,” said PSA deputy general manager Manie de Clercq. “The

member who signed the declaration did not have the authority to do so and

entered into the declaration without a mandate.”

De Clercq said the department knew that the member could not sign

an official document on behalf of the PSA and its members unless expressly

authorised to do so.

“We therefore informed the minister of this in writing on June 11

2010 and also placed on record that we retain our rights and the constitutional

right of our members to embark on industrial action in terms of the provisions

of legislation,” said De Clercq.

The PSA’s wage dispute had to be resolved in terms of the Public

Service Coordinating Bargaining Council’s dispute resolution procedures. “This

implies conciliation and if the dispute remains unresolved, industrial action of

all employees not engaged in essential services will take place after giving

seven days notice to the employer,” De Clercq said.

The PSA remained committed to resolving all labour-related matters

in a lawful and procedural manner.

It was reported on Thursday that the National Education, Health And

Allied Workers’ Union and the PSA had signed agreements with the government

committing themselves to “no labour unrest” during the period of the soccer

tournament.

Dlamini-Zuma said the fact that there would not be any strikes by

public servants during the World Cup went a long way to creating a positive

climate for the hosting of a successful event.

 

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