Municipal workers warn of pay strikes

2012-05-21 22:34

Johannesburg - Municipal workers kicked off annual wage negotiations on Monday with a demand for increases nearly three times the inflation rate, warning of a repeat of strikes that have crippled public services in recent years.

In a statement, the South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) said it wanted an annual increase of 15% for its members, compared with inflation of 6% and against a government offer of 4%.

"Their [the government's] response is tantamount to declaring war on municipal workers," Samwu said. It threatened industrial action as the "only way for municipal workers to fight for a living wage".

SAMWU claims more than 200 000 members, most of them water, sanitation and refuse workers.

In its budget in February, the Treasury allowed for a 5% wage increase for public servants, adding that a huge state salary bill was crowding out investment in infrastructure and other key productive sectors.

Mining firms in one of the world's biggest producers of gold and platinum were last year forced to award above-inflation pay increases for two years to end strikes in the sector.

Analysts say union demands for steep pay rises have put a strain on companies' operating costs, undermining the national drive to slash high unemployment, which currently is just above 25% of the labour force.

Traditionally, wage negotiations last several weeks in the mid-year wage bargaining session known as "strike season" with unions often downing tools to back their demands, disrupting mine production and also hitting services in state hospitals and schools.

  • Steven - 2012-05-21 22:56

    The annual circus is coming to town!!!

      Rob - 2012-05-22 06:12

      Bobi sounds loke a Nigerian with that grammar.

      Greg - 2012-05-22 08:13

      ...and when they're done, the rest of the Government Departments will also strike and get an increase the Government can't afford...the answer, increase taxes!!!

      Don.Tandy - 2012-05-22 08:26

      Playtime for the 'children' again.

  • tom.vorster - 2012-05-21 23:25

    Here we go again, the the lazy and overpaid trash the streets, intimidate, break and destroy because its their democratic right.

      Raymond - 2012-05-22 07:40

      But let the DA march peacefully..........

      Gary - 2012-05-22 07:45

      Yup, the strike season is upon us. I wonder when they'll realise, that it's not your *right* to have a raise each year.

      Gerhard - 2012-05-22 07:58

      Yes, they're going to trash the streets, break water mains, burn stuff and then they have to pay them overtime when they get back to work to clean up all the rubbish, fix the water pipes and everything else they have trashed. And this will blow their budget for overtime and maintenance and there will be less money available for service delivery and then they will go on a service delivery protest and trash the place again. You have to love this country!!

      Alan - 2012-05-22 08:51

      You summed up the African Circle of Life perfectly Gerhard. Only thing missing is that there will not be a 'peep out' of the Presidency.

      inga.kabane - 2012-05-27 06:23

      shows your ignorance. not only black people are municipal workers. there are whites and indians and coloured, but you are so blinded by ignorance that you just assumed only black people would be benefiting from the pay rise. Eish.

  • Dewald Annelie Labuschagne - 2012-05-21 23:33

    Hey dudes, there are more penis post on Zuma's articel

  • braamc - 2012-05-21 23:41

    Ayes, we demand we demand, trash!

  • Glenda - 2012-05-21 23:51

    We have municipal workers? Hve not seen them since 94!

  • Sharon - 2012-05-22 00:08

    I am sick to death of these people holding the country to randsom every year. Nobody gets a 15% salary increase! It is unrealistic. So we can look forward to another round of rubbish strewn streets and blocked sewerage pipes. Wonderful country we live in where everybody rules, except government.

      Alan - 2012-05-22 08:55

      Yeah - in the Real World, we are bl**dy lucky to get a 6% increase. But we take it, because it is better than the Company closing, and having no job. Unfortunately, people do not understand economics - you have to work for your money - handouts dont work anywhere in the world, and least of all in Banana Republics. Nobody is simply entitled to houses and cars and blah blah. Apart from the 'select few', everybody else puts in hard work for their money. Welcome to Maaifoedie Land.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-05-22 00:59

    They should get the increase they are asking for, that will shock the status quo, a mind boggling blow to the norm, it will help stimulate the economy.

      Henry - 2012-05-22 08:05

      a)It will drive inflation higher. b)More taxes will be needed to pay the bloated salary's for them. c)They don't deserve it.Street sweepers should not earn doctors wages,whats the point in studying and bettering yourself then?

      Sharon - 2012-05-22 08:29

      Give them 15% this year and I will guarantee they will demand 20% next year!

  • bobi.tsotetsi - 2012-05-22 02:14

    We have to safa whilest they are gettin fat and marryin and devorcing and drivin over expensive cars. so de anc gov is out opress us finacially and ada wise givin us only a freedom of speech,and movement and association. whilest they are stavin us to death lets shut down this is too much we cant take it any more WEsettled lame 6% last year not this year no nono samwu wake up we are hungry

      Ekfeugo - 2012-05-22 02:59

      Bobi.tsotetsi. Maybe you wont have to "safa" if you improve your education. Imagine you use the correct grammar you may just succeed in your negotiations with the fat immoral incompetent drivers.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-05-22 06:14

      Whilst I agree the ANC are not exactly doing a wonderful job of governing, one thing for sure, you guys are not even close to starving on your salaries. In a country with so many unemployed people, you are just selfish, you are not exactly a hard working bunch. Rather pay less and employ more, the production will be the same with your ethics.

      Stuart - 2012-05-22 06:52

      @bobi.tsotetsi, ja you do look hungry lounging on the bonnet of a snazzy car! SAMWU are about to learn that we are in a recession and da money she is gone...

  • lindyloumunn - 2012-05-22 03:22

    Actually no not the lazy and overpaid a 5 percent increase is ridiculous, Government must come in at 9.5 >> at least. we have not had a decent increase for a long time and CPIx is not enough.

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-05-22 06:16

      So why not claim 9.5 instead of a totally ridiculous 15?? I think you just want to strike, it gives you an excuse to be destructive and violent. And litter - your favourite hobby!

      sanet.oelofse - 2012-05-22 06:27

      Where I work, increases have a direct link to performance and awarded on merit. Work hard and reap the reward...

  • Nkosinathi - 2012-05-22 03:56

    We have bad culture that each time when its wage negociation there is always disruption of services as if we have two brain. I have not received my letters for three months I guese the post man is on strike. Strikes whem the majority do not have jobs sound crazy. This is pure abuse of freedom. Bad service delivery are as resulty of employed lazy people draging their feet and grandstanding

      john.lonsdale.5 - 2012-05-22 05:49

      Haaaa Haaaa sorry had to laugh at your letters comment, I said to my wife we dont seem to be getting mail, thats when I also had found out that the posties were on strike. Didnt even notice, but then I only ever get junk mail? It keeps the recycle rs busy!!!!!

      Chumscrubber1 - 2012-05-22 06:17

      Luckily most of my mail is now email. A lot more reliable than lazy nose picking humans.

  • Nicolaas - 2012-05-22 05:15

    fire them all and employ those that want to work! They can then all march to support zoomer in his penis court case. These " mislikepaleteit" workers are the most laziest bastards I have ever seen. They sleep on their broom the whole day, only wake up when it's lunch time, tea time and tjaila time! Best will be to send them all to eastern cape to get substandard education, and they can then call the eastern cape, the municipality refugee camp!

  • Bomb - 2012-05-22 05:55

    Most overpayed, most underperforming department anyway. My refuse has been lying in the street for 2 weeks, so they are not working anyway. South Africa is sitting on a ticking time bomb, the salary bill of the state can not be sustained for much longer, its logical. There simply isnt enough money. Now the infrastructure and property will get damaged and working members will be attacked and intimidated by these hooligans to make their pointSo get some popcorn, sit back, relax and enjoy the circus. Africa always lives up to its neanderthal mentality.

  • Chumscrubber1 - 2012-05-22 06:08

    Here we go again, a nation uninterested in trying to build itself. Never anything constructive, the Asian nations must be amazed at how we think we can ever compete with them. Gauranteed this destructive bunch will break things again, and litter the streets. (I'm convinced they find litter attractive!) Useless and prideless.

  • Ian - 2012-05-22 06:42

    I wish I could get +15% on my pension! They don't know when they are well off.

      andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-05-22 07:45

      Never mind 15% any increase would be welcome. With the present state of world economy investments hardly grow and as such no room for increases.

  • anthro45 - 2012-05-22 07:08

    Municipal WORKERS??? Where, where??

  • daniel.motlhatlhedi - 2012-05-22 07:22

    why must this people demand more money while they do less work

  • - 2012-05-22 07:32

    PLEASE publish the names and addresses of all the SAMWU officials in Johannesburg - when my refuse is not removed during a strike I want to dump it on the driveway of the union officials...This thuggery and bullying tactics must stop. Our labour laws are killing the country. The municipal workers are already some of the highest paid workers in the country. The tax payers are being milked to death.

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-05-22 07:41

    SAMWU you guys are f*cked in your collective craniums PERIOD!!

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-05-22 07:41

    ANC Mantashe is worried about SA credit rating when road users do not wish to pay E tolls for existing roads which have been upgraded. However Cosatu affliated unions demand huge pay increases and no word from them as it will upset their alliance partner. Which again will be paid for by the taxpayer. We are already paying high prices for little return in services and will now have to cough up more.

  • Steve - 2012-05-22 07:48

    the time has come for us ratepayers and taxpayers to stike during the same period - if you not working we not paying !!!!

  • Ryno - 2012-05-22 07:57

    why don't these lazy idiots apply for a position in the private sector where the pay is more...??? ah yes - then it means that they will actually have to have skills and competencies! and most important of all: work for their money

      Ze Don - 2012-05-22 08:13

      Actually they would get paid LESS in the private sector for the same position!

      inga.kabane - 2012-05-27 06:26

      lazy? ha! lack of skills? ha! you're under the impression that only black people are municipal employees which is why you so casually insult them.

  • louiseroger.higham - 2012-05-22 08:04

    Fire them employ more worker until they too go on strike then fire them and carry on until u run out of workers

      Alan - 2012-05-22 09:01

      good solution! However - then we have Xenophobic attacks, because mostly it is the foreign people that are prepared to work hard. They have been through what our Muppets think they are fighting for, and know the realities of African Economics. For those who dont know - African Economics means to Nationalise everything, Promote Incompetent people into positions they cannot handle, loot every business's assets, grab what you can, watch the country go down the drain, starve. In short - Kill the Goose that lays the Golden Eggs, and then wonder what happened.

  • Henry - 2012-05-22 08:08

    Are we allowed to throw rocks at this cosatu affiliated unions members when they march past my business to wherever they going.(probably a local tavern)

  • Warwick - 2012-05-22 08:43

    If these "wekkers" are so clever and they dont like what they are earning, why dont they get their C.V.s out and look for better paying employment somewhere else. I mean these 'wekkers" are in big demand for their skills and work ethic. Oh sorry, sleeping on pavements, burning and destroying municipal property and beating and killing fellow "wekkers" is not quite what most companies are looking for. They must really make their children proud when u mama and u tata come home and night and talk about how they danced in the streets, trashed the place, set buildings alight, destroyed property and beat and killed fellow "wekkers" who were not on strike. And the children think," I want to be just like mommy and daddy". HEATHENS.

  • Juan - 2012-05-22 08:51

    The useless "condom brigade" back in 'demand and destroy' mode, and after that back in 'go-slow mode'.

  • Lebogang - 2012-05-22 09:00

    I find it amusing that unions complain about executive pay while they demand 15% increases.

  • gavin.lott.9 - 2012-05-22 09:26

    Is it May already, where does the time go?

  • ludlowdj - 2012-05-22 09:35

    Anyone that has kept a running record of goods and their prices is well aware the 6% inflation figure is an outright lie, and that inflation figures in general have no basis in reality, Government itself is increasing its service fee's in double digit figures anyway. Until the upper class(sic) is held accountable the gap between rich and poor will simply continue to grow.

  • gregory.jurgens - 2012-05-22 09:50

    Pay increases employers do not keep up with goverment demands, go for it, strike , The big Nobs in government must come to their senses.

  • comurray - 2012-05-22 10:58

    When is this mumicipal union going to realise that the tax payers are already being taxed to a point where they can no longer afford to pay more for municipal rates and taxes. Money no longer grows on trees. After the last increase did these employees work any harder to justify their increased pay packets? I think not.

  • Jason - 2012-05-22 11:01

    fire the lot as the city is so dirty

  • Winifred - 2012-05-27 15:59


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