We'll be back, protesting Parliament staff

2015-11-11 18:17
(Jenni Evans, News24)

(Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - Support staff will continue to protest until Parliament meets their demands, a National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Newahu) official said on Wednesday.

"Go home and wash your T-shirts. Tomorrow we will be back," Nehawu chairperson in Parliament Sthembiso Tembe told workers gathered in the old assembly.

Hours earlier, riot police used stun grenades, tear gas and their shields to try to remove about 250 protesting workers from the precinct.

Tembe said workers were upset after apparently being warned that their salaries would be deducted.

He called Parliament's secretary Gengezi Mgidlana and management "nuts".

"We don’t want dictators."

Parliamentary staff - including committee secretaries, content advisers, cleaners and communication liaisons - downed tools on Friday.

They are demanding a change in the performance bonus structure, among other things.

They want it to be based on annual packages, instead of 100% of the monthly salary agreed to earlier this year.

Other areas of concern include the security re-vetting staff, which started in Parliament last month.

Mgidlana said on Tuesday that Parliament would implement an interdict obtained during similar strikes in 2010.

It outlined that protests had to take place outside the parliamentary premises.

Tembe said the union would not get an interdict to stop Parliament from stopping their protests.

He acknowledged their protests were not protected in terms of labour law.

But they did not accept that every parliamentary worker was an essential services worker.

Read more on:    nehawu  |  cape town  |  protests  |  parliament 2015

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