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Cape Town - Parking marshals, who have been on strike for five days, say the new offer of R20 a day in addition to the commission they make on daily targets is “slavery” and they will continue to strike until they get a better offer.
Street Parking Solutions (SPS) marshals, who work in the central business district, have been on strike since Monday and say they have not been paid properly since 2009.
The marshals marched outside SPS’s offices in Castle Street on Thursday.
“This is slavery,” they chanted.
One of them, Rene Kalemba, said they wanted the 23.5 percent share of their daily earnings that they had been promised in their 2009 contracts, but which they had not received. He said they had been made to sign a new contract without any mention of when they would get money owed to them.
“If we make R945 a day. We get nothing. We survive on tips from customers. No tips, no money for us.”
Another marshal, Micheel Bayenda, said it was more difficult to make money when it rained or on days when there were fewer motorists in the CBD.
“We have no basic salary at all. We live on tips.”
Marshal Ibayo Kasai said a meeting between the marshals, SPS, the City of Cape Town and the Department of Labour was the only way to resolve the strike.
SPS owner Zunade Loghdey said on Thursday the company was operating 100 percent within the law and did not owe the workers any money .
He said the 23.5 percent that applied in 2009 had been a “team-based commission structure” where the whole team got a 23.5 percent share.
But after an unprotected strike that year, SPS fired and rehired all workers and the new contract gave commission on an individual basis, based on marshals reaching a target. The 23.5 percent no longer applied.
Following a Department of Labour audit this year, SPS was asked to make amendments to the contracts of the marshals to formalise this new arrangement.
“We believe this is what caused this protest,” Loghdey said.
He said that because the marshals rejected the new offer on Thursday, the matter was out of his hands.
“We cannot do more than we have done.”