Cape Town strike to be suspended: Samwu

By Drum Digital
23 September 2013

The strike was not over higher wages, but rather to do with a range of workers' grievances.

A strike at the City of Cape Town will be suspended after its first day, as the metro had conceded to some of the SA Municipal Workers' Union's demands, the union said on Monday.

"We [secured] an undertaking from the city manager's office, that [the city] will concede to some of our demands," said Samwu Cape regional secretary Mike Khumalo. "We have said we will suspend the strike, after today, to allow processes to take their course." Deputy city manager Mike Marsten said that an independent facilitator would be appointed to assess and resolve some of the workers' grievances. "I don't know if I would call it a 'concession' because it was the City's suggestion," he said. The appointment of the independent facilitator was one of the conditions of the suspension of the strike. "I think it is a fair approach," Marsten said.

Khumalo said that no centralised demonstration was planned for Mondaybut meetings would be held with local managers to discuss workers' concerns at individual depots.

On Friday he said the striking workers' grievances included allegations of discrimination at some depots, worker transport problems and adjustment of work programmes.

There were concerns that the new work programmes could lead to greater workloads for some Samwu members.

On Friday, Cape Town mayoral committee member for corporate services, Demetri Qually, said the city had contingency plans in place to limit the strike's impact on services.

"Some services, such as refuse collection, may be affected. The city will do all that it can to ensure that residents' refuse is collected and that refuse drop-off sites remain open."

-by Sapa

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