SARS strike INTERDICT fails

WE KNOW FIGURES: Workers from the South African Revenue Services marching to the headquarters in Pretoria to dfemand better salary packages. Pic. Peggy Nkomo. 07/09/2009. © Sowetan.
WE KNOW FIGURES: Workers from the South African Revenue Services marching to the headquarters in Pretoria to dfemand better salary packages. Pic. Peggy Nkomo. 07/09/2009. © Sowetan.

THE Labour Court has dismissed an application by the SA Revenue Service yesterday for an urgent interdict against strike action by its workers.

THE Labour Court has dismissed an application by the SA Revenue Service yesterday for an urgent interdict against strike action by its workers.

"The court dismissed the application on the basis of urgency," said Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay.

"The judge basically recommended that we should approach the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration and their committee on essential services to make a ruling on whether or not Sars and aspects of its operations qualify as an essential service."

The strike action by members of the National Health and Allied Workers Union and the Public Service Association was meant to last only one day, he said.

It was too early to have numbers on staff turnout for yesterday, but Lackay said there had been reports of protests in Durban and at the Lebombo border post.

"Two hundred workers were removed by the police in Durban, where they tried to block operations at Durban ports ... and protesters also attempted to blockade the Lebombo border post and the police were called in," he said.

Sars was now waiting for feedback from the unions today following a new wage offer of between 9 and 11percent on a sliding scale for employees of respective grades.

"They will come back to us with an answer tomorrow (Tuesday).

"Our operations should return back to normal tomorrow [Tuesday]."

Nehawu said thousands of Sars workers stayed away from work yesterday, demanding a 13percent salary increase.

"The union membership felt that given the employer's intractable attitude ... we should withdraw our labour until such time we have received a satisfactory offer," said Nehawu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla.

Meanwhile, the DA called on Sars to extend the deadline for manual submission by at least one working day for each day that the current strike takes place.

"With only 10 working days before the September 18 deadline for manual submissions, and the resultant increase in workload, the public have already experienced an increase in service through times.

"The strike would only exacerbate the pressure on individuals to submit their tax filings on time - extending the deadline is the only reasonable response from Sars to accommodate taxpayers," the DA said in a statement. - Sapa

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