Poor turnout for Joburg Samwu strike

2011-08-19 12:44

Johannesburg - A few hundred striking municipal workers started marching in Johannesburg on Friday to press for better wages.

"There's no bread for the poor. We all buy the same bread for the same price. Even executives pay the same price we pay," SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) provincial chairperson Koena Ramotlou told protesters before the march started around noon.

He said the 18% they were demanding would improve their lives.The SA Local Government Association (Salga) has offered 6%.

"The employer could afford the 18% without increasing rates and taxes, check what the executives are taking home," said Ramotlou.

Not as many strikers as predicted

The Samwu members were marching to Salga's offices in Braamfontein, but there was little sign of Samwu's claim that 60% of workers would participate.

Only about 500 workers arrived, and the march started two hours late.

Union officials have denied claims that disgruntled members are boycotting the national strike because of corruption within its provincial leadership.

Johannesburg metro spokesperson Edna Molewa said on Friday that at least 15 roads would be closed for the duration of the march, while Metrobus spokesperson Esther Dreyer warned commuters that no buses would run in the city centre.

"We will be withdrawing buses from the city centre from 09:00 to 14:00 in view of the Samwu march... to safeguard passengers and protect our property," she said.

On Thursday, City of Johannesburg spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said most municipal departments had shown full attendance despite the strike that started on Monday.

"Work is continuing; none of our services have been affected."

Strikers ordered to clean up own mess

The SABC reported on Monday that 85% of Samwu members in Gauteng were not taking part in the strike.

Elsewhere in the country this week, municipal workers trashed several cities, including Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg and Nelspruit.

According to a report in Beeld on Friday, police ordered the Nelspruit marchers to clean up their mess before allowing them to proceed with their march.

It took them so long to clean up that they were three hours late for the handing over of their memorandum, by which time municipal officials had already left.

  • PinkAndProud - 2011-08-19 12:53

    Well done Nelspruit police!!!

      DIAMOND - 2011-08-19 12:58

      @PinkAndProud I totally agree with you...cant act like a bunch of hooligans destroying everything in your path and not expect there to be repercussions...GET IT STRAIGHT PEOPLE NOBODY IS ABOVE THE much some people think they are, it all eventually catches up to you..Karma is a bitch..beware..

      Ockert - 2011-08-19 13:44

      most probably the only REAL police are in Nelspruit, in Vereeniging the cops looked like they were the body gaurds of the rabble, who trashed the town.

  • Spaffy - 2011-08-19 12:55

    "police ordered the Nelspruit marchers to clean up their mess before allowing them to proceed with their march" HEHEHE...

      Grayman - 2011-08-19 14:05

      And they were then 3 hrs late and by that time the municipal officials had left! I can't contain the mirth! Tears rolling down my face laughing at the absurdity of it all. Good on the Nelspruit Police!

      Roger Rothner - 2011-08-19 15:02

      Our town Vereeniging looks sad. at least it is not as bad as some of the striker's homes.

  • DAB - 2011-08-19 12:55

    They are boicotting the strike because of the no work, no pay rule. Last year these poor people lost so much of their wages during their strike, that it took 9 months to recoup their losses after their increases were implemented.

      ethekwini - 2011-08-19 13:22

      DAB, correction. Samwu F***ed-up during their last strike. Their members will take a life time and still not recover from the lost potential earnings in their salary range. Samwu misrepresented their membership to get a few of their leaders into higher paid jobs.

      Grayman - 2011-08-19 14:13

      @ethekwini - that's what it is all about. I just hope that the DA win their case against the union in Cape Town. That will set a class action and suddenly they fat union bosses will not be so quick to call a strike. What is more, us rate payers can then take our local government to task if they DON'T sue the union for damages! Mmmm - interesting times indeed.

      BigD - 2011-08-19 14:33

      I wonder if I can sue SAMWU for loss of earnings. The strikers have prevented me from carring on my normal business. I would like to do this and if all of us did this together we could bust these unions. The sooner they piss of the better for the owrkers and SA

  • Sickoflondon - 2011-08-19 12:58

    Are they even realising that 18% is too much?

      Ingie - 2011-08-19 13:51

      No their brains dont see this, but their eyes see 18%

  • pandel - 2011-08-19 12:59

    Well done Nespruit police the city is so clean

  • spikytiger2001 - 2011-08-19 13:04

    Lol, I doubt they buy the same bread...

      patrickb - 2011-08-19 14:03

      Feed them cake!

  • jjacgilbert - 2011-08-19 13:08

    Just qualify yourselfs for better positions then you might earn a better living. If you are too lazy or incompetent to do that just be thankful that you have a job and do your best.

      Ockert - 2011-08-19 13:46

      pay them more and you create a comfort zone where they are happy to pick up garbage.

      Greg - 2011-08-19 14:23

      You sound like a pompous idiot - do you actually know how other people live?

  • frans van erk - 2011-08-19 13:10

    Ppl start understanding that they loose their money and are used for other purposes whereby only the anc elite takes advantage. Soon, very soon the ppl will turn against their anc elite and a free entrance for heaven will not change their way to go. Remove corruption and crime. Vavi kept his word. He himself refused to give assistance to them who have to appear in Court for alleged crimes.

  • sanityplz - 2011-08-19 13:10

    well done Nelspruit Police.

  • The Observer - 2011-08-19 13:14

    "The employer could afford the 18% without increasing rates and taxes, check what the executives are taking home," yes the executive works with millions of rands and peoples livelihoods, you lot pick up trash. Stop making communistic arguments otherwise we all just stop studying and pick up papers like you lot and be paid the same. Why would I want to study for 10 years when a silly street cleaner earns the same as I do? Now who will become the doctor’s, lectors , engineers etc. O ja you all will become business people and be millionaires so you don’t need such imperialistic things as doctors and engineers. Such thing grows on trees I guess.

      Ockert - 2011-08-19 13:47

      get it all for free like Cyril Ramaphosa and Tokio Sexwail.

  • Commonsense - 2011-08-19 13:16

    People are finally accepting the fact that they're being screwed by their "leaders". Change is in the air...

  • DEVILS SON - 2011-08-19 13:18

    hahaha classic, 500 only, samwu, time to look at yourselves for a change

      BigD - 2011-08-19 14:35

      Ja. The 500 were the management of SAMWU in johannesburg. They are also top greedy and heavy on top

  • Johnny - 2011-08-19 13:19

    nicely done Nelspruit, keep up the good work

  • donns - 2011-08-19 13:22


  • RobertKay - 2011-08-19 13:24

    "The employer could afford the 18% without increasing rates and taxes, check what the executives are taking home," said Ramotlou. Methinks the executives have a little more responsibility then people emptying dustbins. (Apart from this I query whether the executives really EARN their monies). Apart from that - haha - here is the massive march that was going to bring Johannesburg to a complete stop! Lastly - other police forces should have followed Nelspruit SAPS' example. That should make the thugs think twice before they trash a place.

  • ColinJo - 2011-08-19 13:29

    Give them 6.8% same as public servants.

      Ingie - 2011-08-19 13:49

      Thats what I got and had to be thankful for which it does not cover my med aid inc, rent, lights, water increases etc, BUT because its my job and I love it have to accept it.

  • Linda - 2011-08-19 13:29

    Well done Nelspruit police - actually doing what you are paid to do - which is maintain law and order. Now why are the police inthe rest of the country allowed to stand by and watch this lawlessness? It is time that the unions start to realise that there are far more people unemployed than employed - so they should be really afraid of the anger than the unemployed are capable of unleashing on them when they march for extortionist increases and destroy and loot from hard working hawkers and shop owners....

      Ockert - 2011-08-19 13:48

      Beacause the rest of the police are useless.

  • kingkong - 2011-08-19 13:32

    the tide is turning for the fatcats the workers see them for what they really are paracites

  • derkus - 2011-08-19 13:36

    the strikers are OUT FOR LUNCH

      Ockert - 2011-08-19 13:49

      and they don't strike in overtime.

  • Ingie - 2011-08-19 13:45

    If they want to strike strike, but why do they have to be so violent and destructive when doing it. Its costing us now for the councils to buys new dustbins etc and whe will they realise that its us the rate payers that have to pay this. They should now be told destroy property and this will be your increase to pay this back. They all get away with year after year after year and on strike after the other. Next month will be someone else striking

      call a spade - 2011-08-19 13:58

      genetically progammed to loot and destroy. that is why.

  • purevirgo - 2011-08-19 13:51

    why have unions if people have ways and means of negotiations? People pay for unions i dont get any logic in this lunatic behavor. I am worried on the message that we are carrying across to our own kids.It could pay for now but waht about the implications? That violence and vandalism is the way to go? I am afraid that is exactly what we are depicting, the worse side of it would be when experience the snowball effects. Not Aat all different from people with glass houses, throwing stones.

  • wisegirl - 2011-08-19 13:57

    Nice, Nelspruit ! I have sympathy with the strikers. They know what their bosses are taking home and they earn a poverty wage. I think the management should contribute a part of their income to the workers as a sho of solidatity with the poor (a la Tutu )

  • bebe - 2011-08-19 14:08

    THE "TRASH" that colloect the trash expect to be paid on a par with executives !!!!!! you want this type of money get yourself educated - STOP expecting everything fopr NOTHING !!!!!

  • Linda Brown - 2011-08-19 14:14

    "There's no bread for the poor. We all buy the same bread for the same price. Even executives pay the same price we pay," Gee I also want an executives salary, even though I don't do an executives job.....

  • Greg - 2011-08-19 14:19

    Not all the strikers are rabble....I know some of the strikers (they work for us - clean and make tea etc)....They are great people being paid a pittance....and also have families to support, and children to educate.

  • SuperCal - 2011-08-19 14:37

    whahahah....bring in the popcorn

  • Lasher - 2011-08-19 15:01


  • Mike Hoxbig - 2011-08-19 15:13

    These effin turds are becoming a bit ridiculous now. Are they developing new skills that add 18% more value? These comparisons to executives are becoming annoying - executives are highly skilled. Anyone can pick up a trash can. These people don't deserve much more than inflation. End of.

  • Chris - 2011-08-19 15:30

    Ok using SAMWU's stat that 60% of the workers would march and there were only 200 there. We can therefor deduce that only 300 people work in the Municipality - the other employees of Metro do not work!

  • zackie - 2011-08-19 16:18

    15 roads close for 500 strikers..doesnt make any logic to bring city to standstill

  • Debbie - 2011-08-19 18:55

    Now...why didn't they do that in all the strike areas? make the strikers clean up their mess before allowing them to proceed to the Municipal officials...the mess in Richards Bay is deplorable and unacceptable! The police force nationwide should integrate their plans and do the same thing country wide....what is the problem...integrate your plans for goodness sake!! Nelspruit police force..congratulations to you!!

  • pages:
  • 1