Municipal strike to start

2011-08-15 07:28

A countrywide municipal-worker strike was set to start on this morning, but the City of Tshwane reported that its bus drivers all reported for work despite the labour action.

“All bus drivers and workers in the transport department reported for the first shift of the day. It is not clear why these workers, of which many are members of the SA Municipal Workers Union [Samwu], did not stay away as was planned,” said Tshwane spokesperson Pieter de Necker in a statement.

He said the city did not expect to have a bus service on Monday due to the planned strike, which, according to union officials, would involve about 145 000 workers who were demanding an 18% pay rise.

“A full status report on staff attendance from all departments is expected at 8.30am. The city has various contingency plans in place so that basic essential services can continue regardless of the personnel shortage the city envisaged to experience because of the strike,” said De Necker.

Last week, Samwu spokesperson Tahir Sema said workers deserved decent wage increases.

“We rejected the paltry offer of 6% made to workers by the employer body, Salga [SA Local Government Association]. We are demanding 18% or R2 000, whichever is greater.”

Neither Salga nor Samwu were immediately available for an update on the wage dispute this morning.

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