STRIKE HITS SARS OFFICES

DETERMINED: Sars workers march through Pretoria yesterday. Pic. Peggy Nkomo. 07/09/2009. © Sowetan.
DETERMINED: Sars workers march through Pretoria yesterday. Pic. Peggy Nkomo. 07/09/2009. © Sowetan.

THE SA Revenue Service suffered a blow yesterday when 6000 workers affiliated to the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union downed tools in a one-day nationwide strike.

THE SA Revenue Service suffered a blow yesterday when 6000 workers affiliated to the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union downed tools in a one-day nationwide strike.

Workers are demanding a 12,8percent wage hike while the revenue collector is offering between 9percent and 11percent.

The decision to go on strike was a new turn of events after Sars reported on Friday it had "agreed" with the unions to enter into further agreements.

Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay said: "We are expecting the union (Nehawu) to give us feedback on the revised offer on Tuesday [today]."

He said Sars would be operating "as normal" today.

The labour court also dismissed a SARS application for a court interdict prohibiting the strike.

"The court felt that it was not an urgent matter to reject a one-day strike," Lackay said.

But the court advised Sars to consult the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration for a "legal opinion" on whether Sars performs an essential service.

This would assist in preventing future strike actions.

Nehawu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the union leadership was "happy" about the strike turnout considering that the decision was taken at an emergency meeting in Johannesburg on Sunday.

"Sars definitely felt our impact as services were affected - from borders, harbours, airports and general revenue service offices."

By noon yesterday, Pamla said, only two regions had responded to the Sars offer.

"The members also felt that given the employer's intractable attitude and its about-turn on the set conditions for a strike suspension we should withdraw our labour until such time that we receive a satisfactory offer," Pamla said.

X