Landfill chaos ahead?

2009-11-27 00:00

IN retaliation for a decision taken by the Msunduzi Municipality to stop their overtime with immediate effect, workers at the New England Road landfill site have decided they will no longer work weekends.

Instead, they will work their normal Monday to Friday hours and then clock off.

But residents need not despair; they will still be able to make use of the facilities for disposing waste materials at weekends because the gates will be left unlocked.

Landfill site workers, who spoke to The Witness on condition of anonymity, said the weekend arrangement is a recipe for chaos as there will be no workers on site to police dumpers and make sure that waste is deposited where it is meant to be.

They said they were shocked to receive letters on November 6 informing them that they would no longer be getting overtime because the budget had been exhausted.

“It’s as if all of us are abusing overtime, but that’s not the case. We were entitled to that money because we worked for it,” said a worker.

They complained that they had worked during the past two weekends yet were told they are not going to get paid because there is no money.

“If there’s no money in the budget for overtime then it’s up to the managers to request more. You can’t have a situation where there are no workers on site over weekends. This is an essential service that working people mostly use on weekends …” said a worker.

They acknowledged that some workers claimed for hours they had not worked, but the municipality should have instituted an investigation instead of cutting off overtime completely.

They blamed poor supervision on the management and said it is unfair that those who filled in their overtime sheets honestly are paying the price for those making inflated claims.

They said the municipality is going to lose out on thousands of rands in their absence because they are the ones who made sure that the major companies who deposit waste at the site are able to do so only after paying the stipulated fee.

The Witness contacted municipal manager Rob Haswell for comment, but he failed to respond by the time of going to print.

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