Municipality obtains court order for strike

2011-02-25 08:49

The Ekurhuleni municipality was granted a court order preventing SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) members from disrupting daily operations, intimidating others and damaging property, it said today.

“The Labour Court also ruled that striking personnel should not assault nor threaten any of the municipality’s staff...[this] comes after a man [Solomon Dlamini] was brutally assaulted in Nigel on Tuesday,” spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said in a statement.

“The municipality turned to the courts after it became clear that some of the striking workers had become a law unto themselves,” he said.

Ekurhuleni obtained the court order on yesterday, following the intimidation and assault of workers, and the burning of two municipal trucks at the Springs Park depot.

“This then leaves us with no choice but to declare war against such malicious acts and we vow anyone caught will be dealt with decisively by the municipality.

“We have also given the police and metro police a clear instruction to arrest such people and charge them,” Dlamini said.

He said the municipality respected the rights of workers to embark on a strike as long as all due processes were followed.

Discontent of Samwu workers stemmed from the dismissal of seven shop stewards in the beginning of February.

The stewards stormed a council meeting last year, which then had to be postponed. They were charged with gross insubordination and were due to appear at a disciplinary on February 11.

At the hearing, they allegedly assaulted various municipal employees, which led to their immediate dismissal.

Strikes by the union took place on February 21, 22 and 23 in Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane.

“The matter went to court on the 22nd of February. Judgment was reserved till today or perhaps next week,” Dlamini said.

The Labour Court would then decide whether to reinstate the seven stewards.

Samwu was not immediately available for comment.

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