City street closed for Samwu protest march

2012-10-27 00:00

TRAFFIC in the Pietermaritzburg CBD was disrupted yesterday as police closed off Langalibalele Street for a march by SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) members.

Traffic queued from the upper reaches of the CBD, with angry motorists hooting in frustration, until police negotiated with the union leaders to open one lane.

Samwu regional chairperson Samora Ndlovu said workers in the district are exposed to danger because they do not have the necessary tools of trade and protective gear. “Fire department staff do not have safe fire engines, helmets, and gloves to perform their duties, while sanitation staff do not have breathing masks,” he said.

Ndlovu called for pay equity, saying people were receiving different salaries for doing the same job, and for favouritism in the workplace to be eradicated.

The workers also challenged the Auditor-General to look into “inconsistencies” in the municipal organogram, and called for the employment of permanent security staff instead of outsourcing the service. Samwu was also unhappy that the SA Local Government Association had decided to appeal against a wage agreement settled in June this year.

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