MUT strike to continue indefinitely - Nehawu
Durban - THE National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has rejected claims it contravened picketing rules during a strike by its members at the Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT) on Tuesday.
The university closed yesterday afternoon after workers allegedly set tyres alight in front of the main entrance and were found in contravention of the picketing rules, according to MUT’s senior director of marketing and communications, Mbali Mkhize.
“Due to the above-mentioned situation, MUT had to request assistance from the local SAPS to clear the main entrance to the university. In order to avoid any injuries to staff and students, as well as damage to university property, we have decided to close the university,” said Mkhize.
Workers had decided to embark on a strike over issues related to annual salary increases for staff.
Nehawu national spokesperson Khaya Xaba said: “We will not tire and we will continue to fight for our reasonable demands. In this regard, our strike will continue indefinitely up until all our demands are met.”
“Further, as Nehawu we reject and condemn the wrongful and misleading assertion by the MUT management that our members contravened the picketing rules. We see this stunt as nothing but a silly attempt of a distraction by the management and a trick to thwart our strike,” said Xaba.
Workers at MUT are demanding a 8% salary increase across the board (the university is currently offering 3.3%), a housing allowance of R3 500 per month, conversion of all eligible workers to permanent status in line with the Labour Relations Act (LRA) and a policy review of the study grant for workers and dependants.
The protests began on April 1 after Nehawu had issued the university with a strike notice on March 29, according to a statement released by Nehawu on March 31.
Nehawu leaders in KwaZulu-Natal reportedly had several meetings with the university before resorting to a protest.
MUT management said it had arranged a meeting with both recognised labour unions as well as the executive members of the Student Representative Council (SRC) on Wednesday to discuss the issues and the return to normal operations.