Samwu Joburg not supporting strike

2011-08-22 10:50

The SA Municipal Workers Union’s (Samwu) biggest branch is not supporting a national strike.

“In the City of Joburg, there has not been many people participating because there exists some internal disputes that the Johannesburg branch had with the union,” said Samwu spokesperson Tahir Sema, without elaborating.

He confirmed that the Joburg branch was Samwu’s biggest, but said in other provinces about 80% of workers were taking part in the strike.

“We have 35 branches in nine provinces ... and we are expecting within the coming days to have the City of Joburg to start participating in the strike action,” said Sema.

On Friday, a planned Samwu march in Joburg started two hours late after no workers arrived for the mass action.

Eventually, Samwu members were transported from Pretoria for the march.

The cities of Joburg and Pretoria have reported minor disruptions as a result of the strike.

Last week, municipal workers trashed streets during marches in the cities of Cape Town, Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Nelspruit.

Sema said Samwu was hoping to meet with the SA Local Government Association (Salga) this week in a bid to settle the wage dispute.

The union is demanding an 18% salary increase while Salga was offering about 6%.

“Workers have indicated they are not willing to settle on anything under a double-digit increase,” said Sema.

Salga was not immediately available for comment.

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