Ministry pleased that policemen not allowed to strike

2011-06-09 14:31

The police ministry is pleased with a Constitutional Court ruling that policemen employed in terms of the SA Police Service (SAPS) Act are not allowed to strike, it said today.

However, it was slightly disappointed that civilians, employed in the SAPS in terms of the Public Service Act did not have the same restriction.

“Our firm view is premised along an understanding that a strike by the civilian component would cripple the normal functioning of the SAPS.

We nevertheless pledge to abide by the court’s decision,” said a statement from Zweli Mnisi, spokesman for the minister and deputy minister of police.

The ministry would explore various mechanisms and put appropriate contingency measures in place in cases where industrial action might arise.

“The main objective would be to ensure that during such strikes, normal policing remains unhindered. After all, we have a duty and a mandate to ensure the safety of all law-abiding citizens.”

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru), the other party in the case, said essential services apply to SAPS members, who are empowered to perform the policing functions in terms of the SAPS Act.

Employees under Public Service Act Proclamation No.103/1994 (PSA Employees) provide important support and complementary functions to the SAPS, but do not form part of the SAPS in relation to essential services and in terms of the Labour Relations Act.

A Popcru statement said: “The judgment delivered today, 9th June 2011 must be written in the hearts and minds of all workers in particular and the working class in general, to cement the right of workers to go on a strike action, as the last weapon to regulate power relations between employers and employees.”

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