Fri Oct 21 15:24:20 SAST 2016

salga retreats at world CUP threat

By Kingdom Mabuza, Luzuko Pongoma, Katlego Moeng and Ntwaagae Seleka | Apr 14, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE SA Local Government Association abandoned a court action as Samwu threatened the 2010 World Cup yesterday.

THE SA Local Government Association abandoned a court action as Samwu threatened the 2010 World Cup yesterday.

Members of the labour union left their work posts and trashed the streets in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth yesterday. The strike in Durban is expected to start today.

Samwu deputy secretary Walter Theledi said they would continue to strike until they achieve 100percent of their demands.

He said if need be they would be out on the streets during the World Cup.

"We are not footballers. Why should our strike be derailed by soccer? We will continue striking up until the 2010 World Cup if needs be. Our demands are legitimate and reasonable."

Salga abandoned a court application yesterday aimed at stopping the strike.

Theledi said Salga withdrew its case as it lacked merit and risked being dismissed. "They wasted taxpayers' money by bringing this matter to court.

"We have rejected their ambiguous proposal for negotiations. In that proposal they are saying nothing about our demands."

But Salga's executive director Mzwanele Yawa denied the application was withdrawn because it lacked substance.

"Samwu's lawyers indicated to our legal team that they were not ready because they did not have sufficient time to prepare for the case. They advised us that they (Samwu) are willing to enter into negotiations."

But Theledi denied this and said Salga should stop "lying" as that would anger workers.

Yawa said: "Our observation is that a majority of workers are not on strike."

He said less than 2000 workers were on strike in Johannesburg and the Cape.

"Their preparedness to meet with us and discuss the matter amicably is what caused us to be eager to withdraw the matter to give space to negotiations."

Yawa said talks would be held when both parties were ready. "It could be any time, even tomorrow."

Samwu is demanding pay parity in all municipalities, and the removal of external lawyers from internal disciplinary matters.

The strike aims to resolve seven-year negotiations to make the salaries of middle and lower income municipal workers' market related.

They also aim to reduce the salaries of "overpaid" higher-ranking employees and to tackle corruption - cited as a reason for service delivery protests.

The SABC reported that in Mafikeng in North West some essential service workers had decided to join the strike.


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