There is a growing number of employers who are failing to pay worker salaries both in the private and public sector, Cosatu said. File Image: IOL

JOHANNESBURG - There is a growing number of employers who are failing to pay worker salaries both in the private and public sector, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Wednesday.

"The trend started almost two months ago in the security sector where employees were not paid and the employer alleges that the client, who happens to be government, have not paid. We feel that this is not a reasonable excuse for not paying workers their salaries," the union federation said in a statement.

"Recently, we have learned of Westvaal Hospital and the Tswaing local municipality, who also have not paid workers their salaries. We view this as an exploitation of the workers and the violation of the workers’ rights and therefore we call on all employers to desist from the tendency of not paying workers on time."

Last week,  the SA municipal Workers Union (Samwu), a Cosatu affiliate, said more than 30 municipalities across the country have informed workers that they are unable to pay salaries, leaving staffers to fend for themselves while medical aid, funeral policies and pension fund benefits fell into arrears.

The union said it held a meeting with new Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and her deputy Parks Tau a few days earlier on problems plaguing councils and were told government was not aware that workers were not getting paid.

In Gauteng, workers at the West Rand municipality picketed outside council offices following non-payment of salaries last month. The cash-strapped West Rand and Merafong local municipalities were the two Gauteng councils that illegally invested millions of rands in public funds into the now defunct VBS Mutual Bank.

Said Samwu: "Failure to pay workers has a detrimental effect to them, their families and the economy as a whole as they are unable to purchase basic goods. We therefore call on all employers to make sure that they pay workers on the agreed date and stop this malpractice.

- African News Agency (ANA)