Samwu to challenge 900 dismissals

2011-03-07 12:37

More than 900 SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) members were fired following an illegal strike that left one person dead in Tshwane last week, a move that the union said today it would fight tooth and nail in court.

The union’s deputy chairman, Veli Kubheka, said they received a letter of dismissal containing about 961 names from the City of Tshwane over the weekend.

“We are now working on challenging the dismissals and a court interdict (that prohibits workers embarking on a strike and intimidating workers or coming near the municipality’s premises while on strike),” said Kubheka.

He said the strike was still suspended and that some workers were back at work today.

Kubheka said the City was reluctant to meet with them.

“They said they’d rather do the talking through court so that’s what we’ll do.”

Union members were protesting against disciplinary action against their members in the city’s troubled bus services.

They demanded the sacking of Tshwane Bus Services director Bernard Mojapelo, which the city claimed had already been done.

Kubheka said the situation was still tense, especially after the shooting of 43-year-old Petros Msiza in clashes between striking bus and refuse workers, police and metro police at the city’s Church Street depot last Thursday.

The city confirmed Msiza was a municipal employee, but could not provide details on how he died. Investigations were continuing.

There were no further clashes or violent incidents reported to police this afternoon, but bus services disruptions were expected to continue due to the dismissals of a majority of drivers.

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