East London - Police were keeping an eye on striking municipal workers in East London after earlier violence, Eastern Cape police said on Wednesday.

“There has been no incidents today (Wednesday), the workers are waiting for management to finish negotiating in the Buffalo City municipal offices,” said police spokesman Captain Stephen Marais.

Police had to fire stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the angry protesters on Tuesday, Marais said.

Mayor Zukiswa Ncitha said the employees, mostly general workers, had demanded 14th cheque payments from the municipality.

She said she was unable to accede to their demands.

“What they are demanding is an issue that lies with the bargaining forum - that is the unions (Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union), SA Municipal Workers' Union and the SA Local Government Association (Salga) at national level, not at municipal level,” Ncitha said by telephone.

The Buffalo City municipality would have to obtain a circular from Salga with a bargaining agreement attached to it to implement the workers' demands.

“That is how the law goes, we would be breaking the law if we give in to their demands. We have explained this issue, but unfortunately, the workers would not accept it and are still on strike,” she said.

Sapa