Strike to end soon

2012-11-19 00:00

THERE is a good chance that striking lifeguards may be back on South Coast beaches by the end of the week, and that their illegal strike may have been resolved by then, their employer said.

Leon Garbade of Tower 13 said yesterday that the lifeguards had slowly started trickling back to work when faced with a court interdict warning them against intimidating lifeguards who were working, and with a final ultimatum to return to work at the end of last week.

“Not only that, but they have finally followed the proper channels and for the first time since the strike started a week ago, they have communicated with me.

“I have now been served a document from the CCMA [Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration] with a list of grievances so that we can start a mediation process.

“Now that some of the guys are back at work, and they are communicating with me, I am confident that we can resolve the issues and get all the guys back onto the beaches by the end of the week,” said Garbade.

Lifeguard Thulani Nzama said the strikers went to the CCMA after Garbade issued his final ultimatum. He thinks that is perhaps why their employer wants to quickly resolve the strike by the end of this week.

Nzama confirmed that they had also communicated their gripes to Garbade.

“Our case is scheduled to be heard on December 5, so that’s why he thinks he’ll get the strike resolved by the end of this coming week. We will meet on Monday [today] with all the other lifeguards to discuss a way forward,” said Nzama.

He said if any of their demands were not met, they would not return to work and would resume the strike until their case was heard by the CCMA next month — but talking to Garbade would be preferable.

The guards are striking for better pay and benefits, and are unhappy with a grading system used by Garbade which determines their salaries.

Margate, Southport, Uvongo, Umzumbe, Hibberdene and Ramsgate main beaches are currently open.

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