City’s billing staff back on strike

2019-03-01 15:02

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Workers at Msunduzi’s billing department have gone back on strike demanding more pay and better working conditions.

More than 100 staffers resumed strike action on Thursday, claiming City officials had not dealt with their concerns.

Their action has brought to a halt all billing and finance queries, the issuing of rates clearance certificates, cash payments to Msunduzi and the issuing of municipal bills and statements.

Thursday was the final day to settle February’s bill with Msunduzi, and residents fear they will fall victim to the next of the City’s controversial disconnection drives.

The situation is compounded by Msunduzi issuing bills that are incorrect or incomplete.

Striking staff are demanding an increase in their salaries to R8 300 after deductions, complaining that they are overburdened with work and are due increases.

The protesters also demanding better working conditions, saying work equipment is dysfunctional.

Workers, who initially began striking last week, said they had met with Msunduzi last Thursday and given the City an ultimatum to respond to their demands by Wednesday this week.

“They didn’t do that because they don’t take us seriously,” one staffer said.

“They are very quick to disconnect [electricity at] homes but won’t take their employees seriously. So we will continue this [strike] until they come to the party.”

Another employee said, “We have to salvage old desks and use things previous employees used.

“We are underpaid for the work we do and can’t make ends meet. [Msunduzi] doesn’t communicate with workers, and we wouldn’t strike if it wasn’t urgent.”

But Msunduzi spokesperson Ntobeko Ngcobo said City management was not aware of the strike. She said management met with staff who said they were not on strike, and were able to raise their concerns.

She said the City obtained an interdict against striking workers last week and “it will be enforced”.

This is an apparent reference to an interdict obtained in the Labour Court against workers from the City’s waste department.

Collection of waste has since resumed throughout the city, albeit late in some areas.


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