Striking stadium workers given an ultimatum

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

A total of 750 workers at the Peter Mokaba Sports Complex in Polokwane, who are on an illegal strike, have been given until today to return to work or face dismissal.

The workers have been involved in a protracted stand-off with management over bonuses for the past two weeks.

Stadium management closed the site on Friday and ordered workers to report to work today. They were told that they should consider themselves dismissed if they failed to report for work.

Workers affiliated to the National Union of Mineworkers and Building Construction Workers Union downed tools a fortnight ago demanding that management pay them project bonuses.

Project manager Paul Mahlake said yesterday that management expected everyone to report for work today and that those who failed to do so would face the full might of management.

Building Construction Allied Workers Union provincial chairman Joseph Munengwana said the stand-off between workers and management was precipitated by management's refusal to pay workers R6000 project bonuses.

Munengwana said according to an agreement payment would only to be processed if the job done by workers was satisfactory. Construction work at the stadium has already been halted four times since last year.

Meanwhile, Limpopo soccer fanatics remain concerned that the stadium will not be completed in the remaining 11 months ending in June.

If not completed the dream of the 5,3 million population of the province to watch the Fifa 2010 Soccer World Cup tournament will go up in smoke.