Return to work or else, Pikitup warns striking workers

2015-11-27 08:53
Pikitup and Joburg city officials clean the streets in Braamfontein. (Naledi Shange, News24)

Pikitup and Joburg city officials clean the streets in Braamfontein. (Naledi Shange, News24)

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Johannesburg – A "handsome" number of striking Pikitup workers have returned to work, the company's management said.

Pikitup issued the workers with an ultimatum on Wednesday night: striking workers were required to report for duty in their respective depots by 08:00 on Thursday or face possible dismissal.

Four South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) shop stewards were also served with letters of intent to suspend them.

Samwu members embarked on an unprotected strike on Monday. The union said earlier it was unhappy with salary adjustments, the abandoning of certain policies and lack of protective clothing.

The company obtained an interim court order barring Samwu members from participating in the strike on Tuesday.

"As for those who didn’t report back to work, management will follow due process. We know that we cannot fire all 3 000 workers but a process will unfold," Jacky Mashapu told News24.

Suspension of services

The company has also decided to temporarily suspend refuse collection from households and businesses across Johannesburg until the situation is back to normal.

Mashapu said the situation was still very tense at all Pikitup’s depots. He said their decision to suspend collection of bins was in the interests of protecting non-striking workers.

Samwu national spokesperson Papikie Mohale said the union was surprised that the company claimed that it was not aware of the issues leading up to the strike.

"Issues being raised by the workers are not new. For example, the introduction of casual workers, the unilateral decision to take away some benefits and the use of Jozi@work."

Mohale said Samwu wrote a letter to management requesting a meeting before workers took to the streets but management refused.

"I know that there was a meeting today but I am not sure what was discussed," said Mohale.

Read more on:    pikitup  |  samwu  |  johannesburg  |  strikes  |  labour

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