Cleaners demand labour's intervention

2011-08-19 18:00
Pretoria - Striking cleaning workers will march to the department of labour in Pretoria on Friday, to hand over a memorandum demanding intervention in their fight for better wages.

"We expect about 3000 workers to be gathered at Church Square", said SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) spokesperson Mamokgethi Molopyane. Molopyane said there were delays due to City of Tshwane allegedly refusing workers permission to march. "I believe that's all been sorted out," she said.

In the memorandum, workers are asking that all issues concerning wages for cleaners be resolved.

Satawu and seven other unions representing workers want the salaries of workers earning less than R2 400 a month increased to R4 200 a month. Those earning above R4 200 should get a 10% increase.

The unions had rejected a revised offer of 8%, which was linked to "certain conditions".

"It does not provide for a decent increase for non-metro area workers - who are the lowest paid in the industry, with some earning at R700 per month - and the conditions attached were not acceptable to our members," Molopyane said.

Mum on proposal

"This is the women's month (August) and the sector is obviously dominated by women as per the statistics. We want Minister [Mildred] Oliphant to speak on behalf of her fellow women who are abused by capital and greedy small and medium companies under the pretext of BEE."

Cleaning sector employers were meeting with union negotiators on Friday, after requesting three days to discuss a settlement offer proposed by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

The union said it could not divulge details of the proposal.

The meeting, which started on Friday morning, would go on for as long as it took, said Molopyane, adding that the strike was still continuing.

"We hope the employer will come to its senses and give workers what they asked for. There will be no compromise. The demand is humanly justifiable. We hope they will see the light and concede," she said.

Molopyane said workers were not asking for a "millionaire fortune but simple basic living wage".

Stabbing reported

An estimated 10 000 contract cleaning workers affiliated to Satawu and seven other unions embarked on a wage strike in all provinces, except KwaZulu-Natal, on August 1, after talks with the employer failed.

The National Contract Cleaners Association said intimidation of non-strikers continued despite an interdict it obtained. The association claimed that an employee working in Pretoria was stabbed in the face, arms and legs.

"This is was not an isolated incident as other reports of assault are being reported on a daily basis," it said.

The strike was affecting cleaning at old age homes, private hospitals, shopping centres and government institutions.

Read more on:    satawu  |  mildred oliphant  |  strikes

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Trying to keep time for your social commitments and friendships as well as taking care of work and health obligations can be more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.