Illegal strike at DoT offices

2009-03-05 00:00

Leaders of the National Education Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) at the Department of Transport (DoT) head office in Pietermaritzburg were surprised when eager members jumped the gun and embarked on an illegal strike yesterday.

Later the demonstration was cut short as union representatives were keen to join a rally where ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema was scheduled to speak at the university campus.

Nehawu branch secretary Skhumbuzo Mdlalose said the unprotected strike came after pamphlets were distributed on Tuesday airing issues that have been repeatedly raised but ignored by management.

"When we came to work we found the comrades at the gate singing revolutionary songs."

Topping the list of grievances is a call for the suspension of the head of department, Chris Hlabisa. Mdlalose said various memoranda have been submitted to Hlabisa, but he has not responded adequately. He noted that a core issue raised in the pamphlets is that unions are never part of decision making.

Transport Department spokeswoman Nonkululeko Mbatha countered that management is negotiating with the leaders of unions and that the protesters were "illegal picketing outside".

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