Pikitup still won’t pick it up

2011-04-18 12:59

The Labour Court has dismissed the City of Johannesburg’s attempt at stopping the Pikitup strike, which has left garbage uncollected in the city for at least three weeks, the SA Municipal Workers Union said today.

“The court dismissed the application that the City of Joburg had made,” said Samwu spokesperson Tahir Sema.

However, the parties agreed to meet at the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration on Monday afternoon to try and resolve the matter.

About 80% of the 2000 Samwu members within Pikitup went on strike on April 7 over allegations of corruption and complaints over wage disparities and casual labour.

During the strike, Pikitup managing director Zami Nkosi, Pikitup board chairperson Phumla Radebe and several other board members resigned.

The strike appeared to be on the brink of ending last week but the parties could not agree on points raised in a document that would have formalised the end of the strike.

City of Joburg spokesperson Gabu Tugwana said the only outstanding issue was people participating in the Expanded Public Works Programme, a government initiative to create jobs by providing temporary work for the unemployed. This is typically in labour-intensive infrastructure development and municipal services.

Sema said that Samwu believed that the programme acted as a labour broker and that they wanted people working on this programme to be employed permanently, not temporarily.

The CCMA meeting was decided after the Labour Court ruling.

Tugwana said the city acknowledged the problems being caused by not having garbage removed, but said it was managing to get some areas cleared.

He said Braamfontein was one example, but did not want to give examples of other areas in case the people working there were intimidated or attacked.

He gave examples of two people whom he said had been attacked in connection with the strike.

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