Tools down over long service backpay

2018-06-21 06:01
: Rubbish is piling up in the streets as municipal workers of Nelson Mandela Bay are on strike. photo: LULAMA ZENZILE

: Rubbish is piling up in the streets as municipal workers of Nelson Mandela Bay are on strike. photo: LULAMA ZENZILE

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THE official strike certificate of the municipal strike in Nelson Mandela Bay which commenced Thursday last week, is based on only one issue - the matter of long service bonus backpay.

The municipality’s largest union, SAMWU, first downed tools and was then joined by the second municipal union IMATU in delivering their demands to City Hall last Monday.

“Long service bonus backpay has been the subject of negotiation in the municipality’s Local Labour Forum over the past few weeks. However, both unions have provided lists of this and other issues that they wish to have addressed,” said councillor Annette Lovemore, Mayoral Committee member for Corporate Services.

An internal response to every one of the listed issues has been compiled, and supplied to the Executive Mayor.

“It is important to note that the Mayor has received this information because the memorandum from SAMWU was addressed to him. However, the person responsible for negotiating the municipality through and out of the strike action will be the City Manager, Johann Mettler,” said Lovemore.

The options on the table with respect to the long service bonus backpay have been discussed by the Mayoral Committee.

“The strike action is being monitored carefully through a joint operations centre. Unfortunately, there have been incidents of intimidation reported. By law, essential services have to be rendered,” said Lovemore.

Advocate Bono, chairperson of the CCMA’s Essential Services Committee, has met with both unions to emphasize and clarify municipal essential services.

“The municipality is committed to speedy resolution of the strike. We are concerned that negative impacts on our communities should be minimised. We also wish to minimize wage losses being suffered by striking workers by ensuring that they return to work, and continue negotiations via existing structures, if at all possible, and if necessary,” said Lovemore. - REPORTER

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