City of Joburg, Pikitup failed to implement agreements – Cosatu

2016-04-07 18:07

Johannesburg  One of the main causes behind the current strike by Pikitup workers was the failure to implement agreements reached in 2011 and 2015, Cosatu in Gauteng said on Thursday.

Gauteng Congress of SA Trade Unions provincial secretary Dumisani Dakile said workers went on strike in 2011 to demand parity and the abolishment of labour brokering in the company.

Dakile said the starting salary in 2011 was R3 000 and according to agreements at the time, salaries would be adjusted by Pickitup to be on par with others employed. 

"The parties agreed that the labour brokering system would end and all workers would be employed on a full-time basis and they would not be given the basic salary, but their salaries would be adjusted over a period of time to be in parity with all other workers employed in same and similar jobs."

Salaries adjusted

He said the strike was a result of the City of Johannesburg and Pikitup not implementing those agreements. 

"The City and Pikitup have failed to implement the 2011 agreement and, as a result, workers went on strike action in 2015 to demand, among others, the issue of parity to be addressed once and for all by the company," said Dakile.

In 2015 parties agreed that salaries of workers should be adjusted.

According to Dakile, the City of Johannesburg asked to be allowed space to seek a mandate from its principals. 

"The City had not been able ever since to come back to engage with the mandate from its principals and it had just been hiding behind the mandating process."

Dakile added that they were afraid that diseases would spread if the issue was not resolved.

Cosatu appealed to the City of Johannesburg to stop sending people in junior positions to meetings with them. "A fundamental problem is that junior people with no authority are sent to negotiations," he said.

Suspend Nair

They also called on the City to suspend the current managing director of Pikitup, Amanda Nair, and to submit the allegations of corruption against her to an independent body for investigation.

"She should stay at home and allow independent investigations to be concluded," Dakile said.

Workers affiliated to the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) went on an unprotected strike about a month ago, demanding a minimum salary of between R9 000 and R10 000 a month.

Samwu is a Cosatu affiliate. 

The workers are facing disciplinary hearings for ignoring dismissal notices and two court interdicts issued during the strike.

Garbage was still going uncollected in parts of Johannesburg.

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