Municipal workers strike over uniform

2016-04-15 06:00
Angry Matatiele municipality workers march for uniform. Photo: siphelele nketo

Angry Matatiele municipality workers march for uniform. Photo: siphelele nketo

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MATATIELE Municipality workers have returned to work after a strike which lasted two days. The strike was over protective clothing and uniform, which employees say the municipality is not providing. They also accused the municipality of not taking their safety seriously while they are on duty.

One worker who spoke on condition of anonymity said workers that do road maintenance work using their own clothing.

“Workers are without gloves, helmets, overalls and masks. We are not safe from injury and diseases,” said the worker.
He added that they have been pleading with the municipality for the past four years.

The South African Municipality Workers Union (SAMWU) shopsteward Mbali Mbuyazwe confirmed to that the strike is suspended temporarily. Mbuyazwe blamed the municipality for not calling a local labor forum to discus workers issues.

“The forum has spent a period of five months without sitting for labor unions to address workers’ needs. The problem of uniform is painful because general workers are not safe and once workers complain about the uniform they become targets,” said Mbuyazwe.

Fever spoke to a 60-year-old woman who has been working as a general worker for the past 10 years. She said working without gloves is painful and she is also forced to work in her own clothes.

On Monday, the mayor Momelezi Mbedla met with the angry striking workers for three hours at the Matatiele town hall, but the meting ended without finding any solutions. Mbedla said 80% of uniform was bought by the municipality last Friday but blamed the suppliers for not delivering it on time.

MATATIELE Municipality workers have returned to work after a strike which lasted two days. The strike was over protective clothing and uniform, which the employees are saying the municipality is providing. They also accused the municipality of not not taking their safety while on duty seriously.

One workers who spoke on condition of anonymity said workers that do road maintenance work using their own clothing. “Workers are with no gloves, helmets, overalls and masks. We are not safe from injury and diseases,” said the worker. He added that they have been pleading with the municipality for the past four years.

The South African Municipality Workers Union (SAMWU) shop steward Mbali Mbuyazwe confirmed to that the strike is suspended temporarily. Mbuyazwe blamed the municipality for not calling a local labor forum to discus workers issues.

“The forum has a period of five months without sitting for labor unions to address workers needs. The problem of uniform is painful because general workers are not safe and once workers complain about the uniform they become targets,” said Mbuyazwe.

Fever spoke to a 60-year-old woman who has been working as a general worker for the past ten years. She said working without gloves is painful and she is also forced to work with her own clothes.

On Monday, the mayor Momelezi Mbedla met with the angry striking workers for three hours at the Matatiele town hall, but the meting didn’t come with any solution. Mbedla said 80% of uniform was bought by the municipality last Friday but blamed the suppliers for not delivering it on time.

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