Pretoria Zoo up and running despite strike

2017-07-10 17:31
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Cape Town - Despite a strike by 120 employees affiliated with the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC), the Pretoria Zoo says it will manage and keep its doors open as usual.

Two thirds of the employees are still keeping the Pretoria Zoo running.

Spokesperson Craig Allenby said that the "zoo will be open as usual" and that there was "no need for volunteers".

On Sunday morning, members of the SA Police Service arrived at the zoo to disperse strikers who were barricading its entrance.

"They were violating the Gatherings Act and had no permission to be there," Allenby said.

The strike comes after negotiations regarding overtime pay between workers and management broke down.

The 120 workers with NTUC membership presented zoo management with a strike certificate by the CCMA last week.

The NTUC demanded that workers be paid overtime for working on Saturdays and Sundays.

A collective agreement signed by all National Zoological Gardens unions in 2009 relates to the implementation of a seven day work week.

NTUC wants the agreement set aside and that workers be employed on five-day basis and receive overtime for working on weekends.

NTUC secretary Sophaniah Machaba said the agreement was agreed to before 2009.

However, Allenby said that the zoo could not meet the workers' demands as it was “financially unfeasible and impractical”.

Machaba said striking employees would continue.

"Our workers will go on strike until we reach an accord," he said.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  animals  |  labour action

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