Picture: Ayanda Ndamane /African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Ayanda Ndamane /African News Agency (ANA)

Robben Island Museum strike suspended to allow for negotiation

By Chevon Booysen Time of article published Jan 17, 2020

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Cape Town – The strike by Robben Island Museum (RIM) employees has stopped to allow for negotiation with its employers through the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).

The action, facilitated by members of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), had entered its 11th day yesterday, when it was suspended.

RIM spokesperson Morongoa Ramaboa confirmed operations would return to normal today before the CCMA meeting on Tuesday.

“Robben Island Museum employee representative union, Nehawu, embarked on a legally protected demonstration as of 6 January, 2020. On its 11th day, RIM can confirm that operations are proceeding uninterrupted.

“The union has suspended the strike, pending the outcome of the scheduled CCMA meeting that will take place on 21 January. Operations will revert to normality state as of (today),” said Ramaboa.

Nehawu Provincial secretary Eric Kweleta said the union was “allowing for engagement to take place”.

“We have been striking for 11 days. There will be no strike today as we allow for the CCMA process to take its course on Monday and Tuesday.  

"We had to force their hand to engage employees, with the CCMA facilitating this engagement. We are hoping for an amicable solution.”

Union members are demanding, among others, a 9% across-the-board salary increase with a two-year salary agreement and a R2 000 once-off cash payment for every employee.

Last week, Kweleta said the strike would continue until employers engaged further to meet their demands.

On Monday last week, RIM chief executive Mava Dada said the RIM had received notice of the strike, applicable to employees who were members of Nehawu, and non-union members had to report for duty as usual.

Dada also communicated that staff members who participated in the strike were to sign an attendance register three times on the day of the strike to confirm they had attended. 

He added that a “no work, no pay” rule applied to the strike.

Ex-Political Prisoners Association secretary-general Mpho Masemola said he supported the protest because it “raises issues such as those we have been talking about all last year, such as demanding the release of the Morar forensic investigation report into corruption and mismanagement at RIM.”

Cape Times

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