Strikers siT TIGHT
Workers at Polokwane's Peter Mokaba Sports Complex have resolved to continue with their strike in spite of an ultimatum from management that they return to work today.
Yesterday a meeting between the project's management and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) failed to sway the 750 workers, who are claiming R6000 bonuses, to end the two-week strike.
Most of the workers are from KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Free State. When shop steward Jeff Lamola told them the meeting had ended in a deadlock the workers said they would not return to work.
"The strike is continuing because negotiations have not been completed," Lamola said.
Some workers, who wanted to remain anonymous, said management was underestimating their contribution to the project and had failed them while raking in "millions of rands at our expense".
One worker said: "We were reliably told that the R6000 bonuses would be from Fifa and not from anyone around here.
"Now management wants the money for itself, while disregarding our contributions."
Project manager Paul Matlhake said a representative from the NUM head office would speak to his members about the dangers of abandoning work.
He said the official is expected to address workers at 9am today.
"We want people to work and honour the agreement we reached with the union on November 23 last year," Matlhake said. "The workers know that the strike is illegal but we do not want to take unilateral decisions and dismiss them."
He said the agreement was to pay bonuses on a pro-rata basis.
Sowetan has established that part of the bonuses had been paid to some of the workers.