Unions refuse to meet with Department of Labour’s security personnel in dispute

2014-05-02 00:00

SECURITY personnel from the head office of the Department of Labour were sent to meet with unions to end a labour dispute that has halted operations at the department’s Pietermaritzburg office.

National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) regional secretary Zimasile Giyama said they had refused to meet with the department’s security representatives as their dispute constituted a labour problem, not a security problem, that required management intervention.

About 120 staff are reporting for work daily, but they are not working. Members of the public are paying the price as they don’t receive the services they need at the office.

At issue is a report on an investigation conducted into a manager at the office, Sindi Zungu, on allegations of maladministration and nepotism.

“Staff want the report so they can see what the recommendation was after that investigation. They have not been informed about the findings of the investigation. The manager who was investigated is back at work,” said Giyama.

He said the staff feel that the department wants to sweep the matter under the carpet and was withholding the report.

Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) provincial manager Andre van Schalkwyk said they were told that management, together with security services personnel, had attended to the problems. “They said a new security company will commence with their contract with effect from May 1, which should address our members’ concerns,” he said.

Van Schalkwyk added that they were also not furnished with the report after the investigation on Zungu.

Department spokesperson Nhlanhla Khumalo said the situation at the Pietermaritzburg office is receiving management attention.

“We are working around the clock to minimise the negative impact that may result from these unfavourable conditions,” said Khumalo.

— Witness Reporter.

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