KZN government mortuary workers face jail if they don't return to work

2018-12-05 14:07
A file image of KwaZulu-Natal MEC for health Sibongiseni Dhlomo.

A file image of KwaZulu-Natal MEC for health Sibongiseni Dhlomo. (Ian Carbutt)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Striking workers at the Fort Napier Medico-Legal Mortuary in Pietermaritzburg have been told to return to work on Wednesday or face jail.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for health Sibongiseni Dhlomo said in a statement that if the striking workers don't adhere to the ultimatum they will be in violation of a court order and could spend up to 30 days in jail.

The department has held numerous engagements with the workers in an attempt to persuade them to return to their posts, he said. The employees have been on a go-slow for two weeks.

"The department first issued an ultimatum which was followed by an interim order granted by the court to try and interdict the workers from participating in an illegal strike.

"Another application for being in contempt of a court order was filed by the department. All this action happened simultaneously with the rollout of contingency plans to keep services running amid challenging circumstances that were taking a toll on many grieving families," said Dhlomo.

Two court orders

He added that on Tuesday, the court pronounced on two applications. Firstly, granting the final order to interdict workers from embarking on a wildcat strike and secondly, granting the second court order for the workers being in contempt of court.

However, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union, which also had a representative in court, pleaded for the immediate suspension of the implementation of the court order which would have seen arrests of striking workers from Tuesday.

The union then committed that workers will abide by the order from Wednesday.

READ: Situation 'getting worse' in KZN mortuaries  

"The department then affords the workers this very last opportunity to go back to work on Wednesday. We are closely monitoring the situation.

"If workers fail to return to work and work at optimum level, the department will be left with no option but to return to court to ask the judge to lift the suspension of the order so that laws of dealing with wildcat strikes can be implemented against employees," he said.

Dhlomo assured workers that the department had already begun addressing some of their grievances, such as the need for protective clothing and the faulty air-conditioning system.

Other grievances involving remuneration are being dealt with through ongoing negotiations at national level.  

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  labour action  |  protests
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.