News24

Zuma: Govt has right to fire strikers

2010-08-19 18:49

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma said the government reserved the right to fire striking employees, the SABC reported in Thursday.

He said that although workers had a right to strike, the government was expected to deliver services to the people.

Speaking in the Western Cape during the ANC's membership recruitment campaign, Zuma also condemned threats of violence by some union leaders against non-striking workers.

The president answered questions from the SABC on statements by some union leaders that the strike would be indefinite.

"There is no strike that could be there indefinitely as people say. Those people are saying we are not working. It's a declaration of not working at all. It just tends to be something beyond a strike."

He was then asked whether the government reserved the right to fire them.

"Of course, yes. That's in the law. That's why I'm saying that is a bit of a concern, because if you declare a strike in that manner and you can't sit for a year without the kids going to school.

"If the time goes, it means the government will have to take other actions," he told the broadcaster.

Public sector workers intensified their industrial action on Thursday after the government refused to budge on its pay offer of a 7% increase and a R700 monthly housing allowance.

The unions are demanding an 8.6% increase and a R1 000 housing allowance.