JOHANNESBURG - The SA Municipal Workers Union says individuals purporting to be representing it who signed a memorandum of understanding with City of Johannesburg were not mandated by the union to do so.
South Africa's biggest municipal union said the agreement signed by Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba and unions on Tuesday was invalid and illegal as it prevented workers from embarking on a strike.
"We place it on record that Samwu is not part and parcel to the memorandum of understanding [MoU] as it was signed by people who are not mandated to enter into any agreement on behalf of the union, and as such, it can be summed as an agreement between the city and the said individual, not the union and its membership within the City of Johannesburg," the union said in a statement.
"We further place on record our dissatisfaction of the contents of the agreement in that it seeks to erode the democratic gains made by workers, in particular, the Labour Relations Act (LRA). There is no agreement that can be reached between parties which can supersede the laws of the country and as such, we, therefore, consider the MoU as illegal and invalid. The letter and spirit of the MoU seek to override the main collective agreement and the LRA, this coupled with the fact that individuals who committed the union to the MoU have no locus standi within the union."
Samwu and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) signed the agreement which the city said was binding upon all parties and is enforceable in terms of the Labour Relations Act. The signing ceremony followed a lekgotla held on Friday with representatives of the city and both trade unions.