City employees to strike today

2010-04-14 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG residents may face disruptions to some municipal services today as local municipal workers down tools in support of the nationwide strike.

City residents have been spared the effects of a full-blown strike over the past two days as Msunduzi workers only picketed outside the city hall during lunchtime, but carried on with their duties.

Things are expected to change from today.

To demonstrate solidarity with other striking municipal workers, locals have made arrangements to down tools today and travel to Durban, where they will demonstrate outside the South African Local Government Association (Salga) offices.

Salga’s second attempt to block the strike failed yesterday and workers affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) will take to the streets in their numbers, said Samwu’s S’bu Biyela.

Some of the concerns raised by Samwu include:

• Poor salaries;

• The non-implementation of a uniform job-grading system;

• Section 57 managers being graded differently;

• Salga’s failure to assist municipal officials in handling disciplinary processes; and

• Salga’s use of external lawyers in disciplinary matters.

Msunduzi Mayor Mike Tarr said that yesterday’s strike was not very well supported and he had received no reports of any serious disruptions.

“I suppose we should be grateful for that because we have enough problems in the municipality that we’re trying to deal with,” he said.

Tarr said the municipality is still busy working on the turnaround strategy, and it is hoping that some of the labour issues could be addressed there.

• Unlike Msunduzi, Howick residents did not get a reprieve from the strike yesterday, as striking municipal workers marched through the streets for the second day running, throwing rubbish as they went. A local resident contacted The Witness to say that although there were police officers at the scene, they merely stood by and watched as strikers made a mess of the town.

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