‘We will conclude this matter on the streets!’ say South African workers

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Members of SAMWU during a strike – the emloyers have reneged on a pledge to pay a 6.25% pay increase

THE South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) in Ekurhuleni is shocked and agitated that out of the blue, the City has provoked municipal workers and declared war against them.

This is after the City informed workers that they will not be getting any salary increase this year.

As per the salary and wage agreement signed at the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC), which the City is party to, workers are due for a 6.25% salary and wage increase.

On 16th July, just 10 days before the implementation of the agreement, the employer formally informed unions of its intentions to renege on the collective agreement.

Workers in the City are agitated at this unprovoked attack against them, if the City had good intentions, they should have raised this issue months before when they were preparing the budget for the financial year.

Instead, the City has resorted to blindsiding workers by making this unexpected announcement when workers were already expecting what is due to them.

SAMWU stated: ‘We do not buy the story that the City does not have the money to pay workers what is due to them.

‘In fact, the City of Ekurhuleni has become the capital city of corruption in the province wherein municipal resources are being used for politicking, settling political scores and enriching politically connected individuals at the expense of service delivery.

‘Workers cannot be used as scapegoats for the rot that is happening in the City.

‘The City wastes a lot of money through double payments by appointing contractors even in instances where there are municipal workers paid to do the same functions.

‘These very same contractors go to the extent of invoicing the City for work that has not been done and work that was done by municipal workers.

‘Millions are being used on lawyers to silence and victimise workers, a classic example of inefficiencies and incompetencies of the City’s management.

‘Workers cannot be punished for corruption and the blatant looting of municipal resources.

‘Workers are also demanding the immediate reinstatement of their colleagues from the Solid Waste Department stationed at Kempton Park who had been unfairly and unprocedurally dismissed by Xolani Nciza without affording them an opportunity to state their case.

‘War has been declared against municipal workers by the City of Ekurhuleni. Municipal workers have no other option but to fight for what rightfully and legally belongs to them. Our sneakers are ready, we will conclude this matter on the streets.

‘Workers will therefore be marching to the offices of the City of Ekurhuleni to demand immediate payment of their salary and wage increase and the immediate reinstatement of their 50 colleagues.’