Joburg municipal strike not going to plan

2011-08-19 11:21
Johannesburg - Striking municipal workers had not arrived for a much-publicised march over wages in Johannesburg by 10:00 on Friday morning.

"We will be there soon," SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) provincial chairperson Koena Ramotlou told Sapa by phone, without explaining the delay.

There were no striking workers in sight at Peter Rose Park at 10:00, when the march had been scheduled to start.

Only journalists and metro police officers were on the scene.

Earlier, Johannesburg metro spokesperson Edna Molewa said that at least 15 roads would be closed in anticipation of the march.

Metrobus spokesperson Esther Dreyer warned commuters that no buses would run in the city centre.

"We will be withdrawing buses from the city centre from 09:00 to 14:00 in view of the Samwu march... to safeguard passengers and protect our property," she said.

Ramotlou said he expected 60% of Samwu members to participate in the march.

On Thursday, City of Johannesburg spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said most municipal departments had shown full attendance despite the strike that started on Monday.

"Work is continuing; none of our services have been affected."

Union officials have denied claims that disgruntled members are boycotting the national strike because of corruption within its provincial leadership.

The SABC reported on Monday that 85% of Samwu members in Gauteng were not taking part in the strike.

Samwu has demanded an 18% salary increase. The SA Local Government Association (Salga) has offered 6.8%.

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