Weather, divisions hamper strike

2011-08-16 12:00

Johannesburg - The cold, wet weather and internal divisions were blamed for the slow start to the municipal workers strike on Tuesday.

"In seven provinces we had a good turnout, in two provinces we didn't," said SA Municipal Workers' Union spokesperson Tahir Sema.

"In KwaZulu-Natal the response to the marches and picketing was slow because of the cold and rainy weather. In Gauteng it was partly due to the wet weather and partly to divisions within a union branch.

"It did not go as well as we anticipated in the province."

Strikers marched through central Cape Town on Tuesday morning, knocking over rubbish bins and setting fire to some.

Sema said the national leadership were meeting the branch in Gauteng to iron out the internal divisions.

Samwu expected about 145 000 workers to take part in the strike. Sema said he anticipated that the action would "gain momentum" in the next few days.

Nothing less than 10%

Municipal workers downed tools on Monday, demanding an 18% wage increase while employers, the SA Local Government Association, were offering a 6.08%.

Sema said there were no immediate talks scheduled and the union waited on the employer to revise their offer - the union would not settle for anything less than 10%.

"We are hoping to hear from them very soon. We are willing to call off the strike as soon as they table a reasonable offer, no less than 10%... we are willing to negotiate," he said.

Salga spokesperson Milisa Kentane could not immediately be reached for comment.

On Monday, she said the association's doors were open to talks and its offer stood at 6.08%.

A Salga advert which appeared in Sunday newspapers stated that the unions and employer had reached a multi-year salary agreement in 2009.

According to that deal, workers got a 13% increase in 2009, 8.48% increase in 2010 and would get 6.08% in the current year.

Parties would be able to re-open negotiations if inflation went either below 5% or above 10%.

"In this instance, the parties agree that the CPI [Consumer Price Index] stands at 4.08%. Based on this, the unions requested that negotiations be re-opened," stated Kentane in the advert.

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  • kevin - 2011-08-16 12:18

    Too lazy to work now to lazy to strike, blame it on the weatherman. Bunch of hooligans

      k1dbl4ck - 2011-08-16 13:03

      last time i wanted more money, i got an extra qualification in my spare time and then applied for (and got) a better paying job. Or did i do something wrong?

  • Smaal - 2011-08-16 12:19

    They might want to add obesity and laziness to that list.

  • Chika01 - 2011-08-16 12:27

    Strike it is fine, I the end your loss. NO WORK NO PAY.

      jakkals - 2011-08-16 12:33

      they'll get back always...grrr....

  • Jo - 2011-08-16 12:28

    Just stood and watched 'strikers' looting stall owners in Adderley Street - now I have zero sympathy. Maybe it's time to automate everything possible as people obviously have no idea what a privilege it is to work in this economic climate. The stall owners are people who have made jobs for themselves - it's ridiculous. And, before anyone tried to prejudge me, I have served time as a shop steward for a union - I would never come in at 18% and support a violent strike. This is politics and is the calculated to trash employment. It's time workers woke up - these actions must make you wonder whether the current union structure supports you or your future.

      DEVILS SON - 2011-08-16 12:38

      thats what we busy with now, an army of smart robot welding machines, soon to put our 93 welders back on unemployment, maybe numsa should have kept better control on the violent metal workers strike, we had infrastructure to repair after they shook the gate down to access working staff, now all you guys can fffff off

      dotty_01 - 2011-08-16 12:43

      my mother works for a company that has had enough of these lazy demanding troublemaking fools. they are replacing these peasants with machines and with imports from china. their loss......

      Virginia - 2011-08-16 12:44

      Typical black mentality, the government steals from them and they steal from their brothers, did you not watch the UK riots, this is what it was all about, just thugs and criminal activity.These people are unskilled workers they earn a good wage for that, they have got to learn to have their priorities in the right place.They need to be educated to learn how to budget.

      Smaal - 2011-08-16 13:58

      Replace them with “black” Chinese. It works on a multitude of levels!

  • Exoteric - 2011-08-16 12:31

    Brings a new meaning to 'fair weather strikers', lets hope we can get photo's of all the thugs damaging property and 'trashing' (sorry) the suburbs/property.

  • jka - 2011-08-16 12:32

    "Parties would be able to re-open negotiations if inflation went either below 5% or above 10%. "In this instance, the parties agree that the CPI [Consumer Price Index] stands at 4.08%. Based on this, the unions requested that negotiations be re-opened," stated Kentane in the advert." Um, what part of LOWER INFLATION means LOWER PAY RISES do the unions not understand? I understand the ideals of minimising salary divides between lowest earners and top earners, but then say that. Don't pretend its about inflation when inflation is low.

  • Frankly - 2011-08-16 12:33

    Seriously Guys! The definition of a strike is "work stoppage" the definition of a riot is "civil disorder". Which one fits better in this category? Learn the difference. I am all for taking a stance for human rights. But going around acting like a barbarian is not going to earn you any credit!

      Taboo - 2011-08-16 12:52

      I agree with you. When you see them on TV (striking) it looks like they are all in a frenzy, shouting , dancing, throwing all the rubbish around. If i saw one of my family members acting like that, i would be ashamed. They are barbaric.

      tryanything - 2011-08-16 20:32

      If One of my family members did that Id be a little more than ashamed....Hey look guys there sipiwes mom setting fire to a bin Fun Fun..

  • lydonmcg - 2011-08-16 12:35

    This is getting ridiculous. Why they should be allowed to trash public property and get a pay hike as reward is beyond me. Fire the LOT of them. There are more than enough unemployed people willing to take their place for less.

  • bebe - 2011-08-16 12:36


      Martin - 2011-08-16 12:43

      What you forget is that they always get paid for their downtime, so no work no pay isnt really true 90% of the time

      bebe - 2011-08-16 12:55

      MARTIN !!!!! Labour relations Act - Striking workers are not paid !!!

  • Bart Zimzon - 2011-08-16 12:39

    Too cold to strike ! Also on Friday lunch time we stop our protest as the weekend starts ! Monday protest will start at 11 am till 3pm or sooner.

  • onthefence - 2011-08-16 12:52

    If they do not all pitch up for the strike will I have to throw my own garbage on the street? I rely on them to tip bins over once a year and I demand consistency!!!!

  • Lab-Rat - 2011-08-16 12:53

    Are they now striking against the strike?

  • Tommy - 2011-08-16 13:01

    Freeze you rubbish mothers!

      onthefence - 2011-08-16 13:06


  • Shrek - 2011-08-16 13:11

    Next they will strike for better weather!!!

  • RobertKay - 2011-08-16 13:22

    Shame. Fair weather strikers! lol That's how much they want the 18% increase. When it's cold and wet they stay at home. Bunch of sissies!!

  • Pieter van der Merwe - 2011-08-16 13:56

    We are the No. 1 striking country in the world. The world takes note of this, also when Julias speaks. We are also the No. 1 country in the world with the highest % GDP given to our neighbouring countries like Zim and the only absolute (and now bankrupt) harem monarchy of Swazi. At least we have open hearts and wallets. This is also the only country in the world where a racial/cultural minority has to subsidise the majority who is in power! Can you frikken imagine that!!! And.. we must now feel guilty about our past.. AGAIN!! Ha ha. I'm off to Aus. This third world view is just too dark for my first world view. Africa needs to be re colonized for it to prosper. That will not happen unfortunately because we told blacks they have rights. Good luck with the trade unions, rampant unemployment, brooding breeding uneducated masses that will take what's left after everything have been looted, pillaged, raped, broken and left to destruction. I used to disdain my fellow white voices who said it's all going to go South. Now I see I was wrong in being optimistic.

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