Angry workers lock managers in their offices

UP IN ARMS: Giyani municipal workers who locked four managers up in their offices over a pension payout dispute yesterday. 03/11/2008. Pic. Victor Hlungwani. © SOwetan.
UP IN ARMS: Giyani municipal workers who locked four managers up in their offices over a pension payout dispute yesterday. 03/11/2008. Pic. Victor Hlungwani. © SOwetan.

Victor Hlungwani

Victor Hlungwani

Four senior managers at the Greater Giyani municipality in Limpopo were rescued by police after being locked up in their offices for almost six hours by angry workers.

It took almost two hours for the police to get into the building after they were forced to use a bolt cutter to remove a padlock at the entrance to the building.

The managers were holed up in the building without water or food and the workers also tampered with electricity.

The more than 400 workers had staged a sit-in on the municipality's premises after a deadlock over their pension payout.

The managers were locked up in their offices from 11am until late in the afternoon yesterday - when police came to their rescue.

The council is at odds with the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) over its failure to pay pension contributions to workers transferred from the local municipality to the Greater Giyani municipality in 1993.

"A council resolution passed in June this year stipulated that they will pay our members all their money in September," Samwu chairman for the Giyani region Thomas Makondo said.

"But when we enquired again they promised to pay us in October. It is now already November and still they have not paid us.

"Why don't they want to pay us?"

Greater Giyani municipality spokesman Room Mdaka refused to comment. He referred Sowetan to municipal manager Silence Makhubele, whose cellphone was off.

X