Task team to probe allegations made by Ezemvelo staff

2014-07-04 00:00

A TASK team has been established to investigate allegations made by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) workers as they head back to their posts following this week’s wildcat strike.

MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Michael Mabuyakhulu yesterday called for the investigation to be completed by the end of August as he addressed workers at the EKZNW headquarters at Queen Elizabeth Park.

The two-day intervention, which started behind closed doors on Wednesday, finally yielded results as workers are set to return to work today.

The dispute between employees and management resulted in illegal industrial action which affected operations at the nature conservation institution.

Insiders believe that workers are satisfied with the appointment of the task team.

The media was barred from attending the staff meeting where Mabuyakhulu addressed the workers.

Workers could be heard singing struggle songs and were beginning to lose their patience as the MEC was locked in a two-hour meeting with management and union representatives.

Those who attended the meeting reported that Mabuyakhulu said the task team would probe the root causes of the disgruntlement of employees to make recommendations on remedial action.

According to unions, the dispute arose out of the restructuring, realignment and the subsequent migration process to the new organisational structure undertaken by the institution last year.

They said the process only benefited management, which led to a dispute with staff members demanding to be included as this had been agreed upon.

“We viewed this as being grossly ­unfair to workers,” said a staff member.

In a statement released after he met with workers, Mabuyakhulu said the task team, which will be led by the head of the department Desmond Golding, will investigate whether the restructuring process was fair, lawful and rational.

Mabuyakhulu also ordered that the migration process and the implementation of the restructuring process be ­suspended pending a report from the task team which will include someone from outside government, one with a ­financial background and another with a legal ­expertise.

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