Parliament on high alert amid claims of ‘criminality’

2015-11-13 12:12
Nehawu members occupying the Old Assembly Chambers. Picture: Lindile Mbontsi

Nehawu members occupying the Old Assembly Chambers. Picture: Lindile Mbontsi

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Parliament expressed “serious concern” today about the “threats of force” which were made against its management by striking employees belonging to the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union. 

This followed yesterday’s proposal by striking workers that they would occupy the office of Gengezi Mgidlana, the secretary of Parliament, after negotiations last night proved unsuccessful in resolving the impasse at Parliament. 

There was a heavy police presence on and around the Parliamentary premises today after yesterday’s peaceful protest which saw workers disregard a court interdict barring them from protesting in the Parliamentary precinct. 

Public order riot police were stationed outside Parliament from early in the morning after their absence yesterday. 

Workers began gathering in the Old Assembly Chambers ahead of today’s negotiations, which were scheduled to continue at about 3pm. 

In a statement released today, which stated only that it has been issued by the “Parliament of the Republic of South Africa”, Nehawu was accused of choosing to embark “on unlawful acts which border on criminality”. 

“Parliament urges the union to return to the discussions and to engage in good faith in the interests its members and the institution of Parliament.” 

The workers insisted that Parliament failed to apply a clause of an agreement between the union and management that require their performance bonuses to be calculated as a percentage of their annual salary. 

The strike is now in its sixth day.

Read more on:    nehawu  |  parliament  |  strike

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