Municipal workers to strike

2011-08-05 13:18

Almost 145 000 municipal workers will begin a countrywide strike on August 15, the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) said.

“Our union’s memberships from around the country have indicated that they are ready and willing to embark on this rolling mass action,” Samwu general secretary Mthandeki Nhlapo told reporters in Johannesburg.

He said the union rejected an offer of a 6% wage increase by the employer, the SA Local Government Association (Salga), and demanded increases of 18% or R2 000, whichever was greater.

“Contrary to what analysts have been saying, we believe that there is nothing wrong with demanding double digits. In fact, with such grave poverty witnessed in our country, workers ought to demand nothing less.”

He said the strike would extend to the essential services sector, and possibly the water sector. “If workers in the water sector strike, there will be a water crisis. Almost 60% to 70% of workers in South Africa’s water boards are Samwu members.”

He said Samwu would call off the strike if Salga approached it with a new offer before August 15, but doubted this would happen. “If Salga was honest, we could avoid the strike, but they show no intention of finding a resolution.”

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