Robben Island unionists suspended
Cape Town - Union shop stewards at the Robben Island Museum (RIM) were suspended from work on Wednesday pending a probe into their role in a 16-day strike that reduced the museum's services by half.
The Cape Times newspaper reported on Thursday that the eight suspensions followed final warnings served on 37 other National Health, Education and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) members who took part in a wage strike on October 26.
The strike by about 100 of the museum's 220 workers included pickets at the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront. On November 5, police were called after some strikers occupied a RIM ferry.
"Nehawu will refer the matter to the CCMA (Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration) first thing on Thursday and ask it to be treated as urgent on the grounds that the suspensions are an unfair labour practice. Our shop stewards were part of a protected strike," Nehawu provincial secretary Luthando Nogcinisa said.
RIM chief executive Sibongiseni Mkhize said the suspensions on full pay had to do with "misconduct" during the strike.
Nehawu had demanded a R3 500 pay increase and a shutdown of the museum between December 24 and January 2. But management stuck to a six percent offer which was implemented at the end of October.