Health dept condemns strike violence

2012-11-27 20:52
(Picture: <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com">Shutterstock</a> )

(Picture: Shutterstock )

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Intimidation and damage to property during an illegal strike by Eastern Cape paramedics is worrying, a provincial health official said on Tuesday.

"It is criminal and against the Constitution and laws of [the] country," spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said.

"When fighting for your rights you are not supposed to undermine other people's rights. We are worried by the situation... We have committed to pay money that is owed to them."

The strike was prompted by issues relating to overtime, performance bonuses, salaries, and discrepancies in salaries.

Kupelo said paramedics, who had been on strike since last week, were intimidating their non-striking colleagues and had threatened to burn down their houses.

Late on Tuesday, shots were fired at a vehicle transporting 11 patients from Frere Hospital, East London, to the Frontier Hospital in Queenstown.

"Fortunately no one was hurt; the bullet went through the window."

The vehicle received a police escort to Queenstown and a case was opened.

Striking workers had caused damage estimated at R1m to the provincial call centre, forcing its closure, he said.

On Monday, strikers switched off the oxygen at Bhisho Hospital. The patients affected were taken to nearby hospitals.

"We condemn the criminal element which is putting the lives of people at risk."

Kupelo said the province had to rely on private ambulance companies.

The strike was about the R191m owed to workers and was organised by an unrecognised splinter union.

The department had paid R9m to about 2000 workers and was busy paying off the rest of the debt.

Kupelo said some of the workers had not supplied the department with the paperwork required to process the payments.

"We will only pay for legitimate claims, and we won't be pressured by striking workers and make irregular payments."

He said the department had been in similar position in 2009, when it paid R387m to striking workers, instead of R26m. Since then the provincial health department had paid salaries on time.

Eastern Cape police could not immediately confirm reports of intimidation or damage to property.

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  east london  |  strikes  |  labour

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.

24.com 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
12 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Your Winter Body Weight Workout

Cold weather does not mean you have to slack off on your workouts, here are some tips to stay fit in the winter.

 
 

Outdoor

The perks of power walking
Best ‘glamping' spots in the Western Cape
6 hiking routes you have to try
South African woman learns to surf at age 70

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You have a strong desire to share your ideas and communicate with significant people. Slow down a bit and make sure that the right...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.