Traffic department accused of unfair labour practice

2011-09-27 00:00

MSUNDUZI Municipality traffic officers demonstrated outside the department’s headquarters in Washington Road yesterday, accusing it of unfair labour practice and calling for the ouster of some of the department’s senior acting managers.

The officers, who declined to be named, said the senior management was holding about 110 reservists to ransom by refusing to pay their last month’s salary in a bid to force them to sign new employment contracts.

“We have been on contract for the past two years and those contracts ended in June this year.

“According to the labour law and the agreement we had with the department, we were supposed to be employed permanently, but the department has reneged.

“They are trying to force us to sign contracts where we will continue as temporay workers by withholding our salaries for August,” said one reservist.

Other traffic officials striking in solidarity with the reservist said the department had numerous problems.

“There are other problems such as nepotism that are affecting the functioning of this department.

“For instance, in this department it is one of the regulations that if there is a vacant position all the people in that level should get a chance to act in that position, but that does not happen here, you find that only the favoured people get to assume that responsibility,” said another official.

The source said there are eight levels of hierarchy in the department, from the reservist (the lowest) to the manager of public safety.

“You find that a traffic officer will be appointed to act as a superintendent, jumping at least two levels in the hierarchy and all the people who are already superintendents and should legally be acting in that position are ignored.”

The sources blamed the acting strategic executive manager for community services Kwenza Khumalo for the problems.

They said they had tried numerous avenues to address the problems, but have been ignored by the municipality and called for Khumalo’s removal from the position.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Brian Zuma said, “The issue of their payment is receiving attention, but not to pay was a legal exercise in Human Resource Management terms. We therefore appeal to them to sign their contracts in order to normalise the situation.”

thamsanqam@witness.co.za

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