Samwu to defend rights of managers

THE South African Municipal Workers Union says the City of Ekurhuleni's resolution to bar managers from participating in union activities is illegal and unconstitutional.

"The constitution of the union allows all its members to be elected to union positions and participate in all it's activities," Samwu Ekurhuleni branch secretary Koena Matlou said.

He said their members understood their roles as managers and as shop stewards.

"The council's resolution is premature. It has no basis in law. They cannot deny people their constitutional rights of freedom of association and participation. If it comes to a push, we will fight it to the end," Matlou said.

The council resolved last week that all employees in management positions could no longer be shop stewards.

"This decision is informed by the council's quest for service excellence in the delivery of services to its communities. It has been observed over a period of time that to have managers being shop stewards creates a conflict of interest that results in a negative impact on service delivery," council spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said.

Dlamini said all managers would cease to be shop stewards from this week.

He said the determination was based on the Main Collective Agreement of the SA Local Government Bargaining Council.

"The council has over years engaged unions on this issue both at the local and provincial levels. The response suggests it is obstructive and has not taken into account the interests of the communities that council serves," said Dlamini.