100s of Samwu workers march in Cape Town CBD

2015-05-06 11:55

Cape Town - Hundreds of workers affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) have gathered in the Cape Town CBD in a legal protest on the third day of strike action.

Law enforcement and police were deployed to the CBD as protesters took to Keizergracht at 10:00.

Protesters will make their way to the Civic Centre via Tennant Street, Christiaan Barnard Street and Hertzog Boulevard.

Just before midday, hundreds of strikers were seen making their way down Adderley Street.

The strike action has seen 50 areas, from Newlands to Makaza, affected as refuse collection schedules have been interrupted.

The union's Mikel Khumalo said their main concerns revolve around wages and female firefighters losing allowances during pregnancy as they are non-operational.

“These grievances were handed to the City of Cape Town in a memorandum a year ago. There has been no assurance of these issues being looked into or even an acceptable response being given to us from officials since,” he said.

 (Tammy Petersen, News24)

‘Give us what we deserve’

Protesters brandished posters reading "Decent pay for hard work" and "Down with the City".

Protesters were heard shouting at onlookers that they “will come back and make alles deurmekaar (make a mess of everything)”.

"Give us what we deserve!" one protester in council overalls screamed, eliciting cheers from some members of the crowd.

Yesterday mayoral committee member for corporate services Xanthea Limberg in a statement said reports have been received of City vehicles being stoned as well as violence and intimidation tactics being used against non-striking employees.

Limberg said the current strike action is “not only disappointing, but counter-productive and in extremely bad faith”.

Concessions made

“Testimony to this is the fact that the union has showed no willingness to work with the City to address the outstanding grievances. Instead, they are more focused on pursuing strike action and distorting the facts in the media and to the public at large,” she said.

“During the extensive engagement sessions with Samwu, a number of concessions were made on the City’s part which demonstrates that there was no basis for the strike action.”

According to the City, the majority of issues raised by the union have been dealt with through both the directorate labour committees and the local labour forums. A few grievances have not yet been resolved, Limberg confirms.

“The City is no longer in a position to consider the outstanding issues identified during the discussions of April 28 and 29 until Samwu is prepared to unconditionally call off the strike, identify a finite list of grievances, agree to commit themselves to a bona fide process [which is] fully mandated to resolve issues as they arise and agree that only the leadership of union attend any future bi-weekly meetings as agreed.

“Once [this] has been agreed to, the City will then be prepared to continue with the bi-weekly meetings and consider the outstanding issues.”

- Has the Samwu strike impacted on you in any way? Let us know which services are affected in your area, or send us your pictures or video of the march.

Read more on:    cape town  |  service delivery  |  strikes

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