National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union members employed by the Robben Island Museum embarked on a strike following a deadlock in wage negotiations. Picture: Henk Kruger  / African News Agency (ANA)
National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union members employed by the Robben Island Museum embarked on a strike following a deadlock in wage negotiations. Picture: Henk Kruger / African News Agency (ANA)

Threat to shut down Robben Island

By Chevon Booysen Time of article published Jan 8, 2020

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Cape Town – The Robben Island Museum (RIM) employees’ strike entered its second day at the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island museum at the V&A Waterfront yesterday as salary negotiations remained deadlocked.

The group of aggrieved employees and National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) members embarked on the peaceful picket on Monday and continued their action yesterday as they said their employer refused to enter further discussions and negotiations.

Union members are demanding, among other things, a 9% across the board salary increase along with a two-year salary agreement and a R2000 once-off cash payment for every employee. More than 200 employees are picketing.

Nehawu provincial secretary-general Eric Kweleta said the strike would continue until their employers engaged further to meet their demands.

“The strike is continuing until the employer decides to further consult with us.

“Since Monday there has been no move by the employer to renegotiate which has resulted in the striking to continue.

“We intend to enhance the situation by the end of week if there are no changes.

“The issue will be enhanced in such a manner that there will be a total shutdown of services,” said Kweleta.

On Monday RIM chief executive Mava Dada said they had received notice of the strike which was applicable to employees who were current members of Nehawu, and that 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, adding that a “no work, no pay” rule applied to the strike.

Kweleta said they “expected” a response like this from their employer.

“We expected this as there has been arrogance by the employer since the beginning of negotiations but told employees they should not be intimidated.

“We have gone along with the strike in its legal manner to ensure our demands are taken seriously,” said Kweleta.

Cape Times

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