Workers picket in Pretoria

2009-07-28 13:09

Pretoria - Striking municipal workers were protesting at rate halls in Pretoria on Tuesday to mark the second day of their national strike.

"We are picketing here at the city centre in Pretorius Street, [rate hall], workers in the north are picketing at Soshanguve rate hall," branch secretary of the SA Municipal Workers' Union in Pretoria, Zebulon Monkoe said.

They were also expected to discuss the new offer of 13% tabled by their employer, the SA Local Government Association (Salga).

About 150 000 municipal workers took to the streets on Monday, disrupting basic services, halting traffic in the city centre and dumping refuse in the streets.

Basic living costs

The union wanted a 15% wage increase or R2 500, whichever was greater, and a R5 000 monthly minimum wage.

The union also said agreements to fix wage increases for several years were not ideal as they could fail to keep up with inflation.

"The bosses are saying that they will give us 1.5% and 2% for the next three years... the price of some food is increasing above the inflation rate."

Samwu said that, according to Unisa's Bureau of Market Research, a family must get at least R4 800 a month to cover basic living costs.