The City of Tshwane has issued 89 dismissal letters to the municipal electricity switching teams across all the regions who failed to perform their duties during the ongoing unlawful strike. The extraordinary step does not affect the Region 7 team.
Various parts of the city have been plunged into darkness due to the ongoing unlawful and unprotected strike by employees affiliated with a trade union Samwu since July 24. Some areas have not had electricity for more than five days.
The switching team, who had absconded from work for the second week now, alleged that they were threatened and intimidated by their fellow striking colleagues.
The switching teams are the first to respond to electricity outages. Their duty, primarily, is to isolate faults, and issue permits for testing or working permits, if needed. They are also responsible for power restoration on the 11 kV network faults.
However, the city wrote to the team to identify people or employees who intimidate or prevent them from performing their duties.
It further warned them that failure to identify their colleagues would result in them being deemed to be part of an unprotected and unlawful strike. “All the applicable provisions to employees who are on strike will be applicable to them,” it said.
The switching teams were given until Monday morning to submit written responses in relation to alleged acts of intimidation.
The City of Tshwane has approached the Labour Court on an urgent basis to interdict the strike. The court ruled in the city’s favour by declaring the strike unlawful and unprotected.
Last Friday, the city approached the court again urgently for contempt of court of the previous judgment of July 28.
The judgment on the matter was reserved for Monday.