ANC staff picket outside Luthuli House in June demanding that the late salary payments, increases and contribution towards pension and UIF be addressed. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
ANC staff picket outside Luthuli House in June demanding that the late salary payments, increases and contribution towards pension and UIF be addressed. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Striking ANC employees want to negotiate with the party over their demands

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Aug 27, 2021

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Cape Town - ANC employees, who have embarked on industrial action over non-payment of their salaries, said on Friday that they would continue to engage management about their concerns.

The workers said they would reject any attempt to treat them as junior partners in the negotiations.

They had embarked on a full blown strike after the non-payment of salaries, medical aid and pension funds in July and August.

Addressing a media briefing, the employee representative committee chairperson, Mvusi Mdala, said the ANC had not called them to the negotiations.

Mdala said they were willing to enter into talks with the cash-strapped governing party.

“We hope that very soon the management and the officials will call us into the negotiation table, so that this matter is speedily resolved as we don’t… (get) any joy from the industrial action,” he said.

Mdala said the employees were concerned about the party’s attitude following their decision to embark on an indefinite industrial action.

He said the ANC, through its national spokesperson Pule Mabe, had developed a narrative which sought to suggest that their actions were politically motivated.

“Our decision to down tools is the last resort, following a series of attempts to work jointly with the employer in finding solutions to the challenges faced by staff members, specifically around outstanding salaries, non-payment of the medical aid scheme and pension fund.”

Mdala said the ANC had been making empty promises and selling the employees false hopes.

“This has adversely affected our livelihoods and we therefore had no other option but to resort to extreme measures against our beloved movement.”

The workers urged Pule to communicate the ANC message around the industrial action while being sensitive to the plight of the rest of staff members.

Mdala expressed concern about fake news pedlars who had embarked on a campaign to discredit their industrial action, by distributing media statements purported to be from staff members attacking and threatening what appears to be a political battle against the ANC leadership.

“Ours is not to venture into any factional battles, but to advance the struggle for better working conditions for ANC staff.

“We call all those involved in this propagandist mudslinging campaign to desist from their nefarious acts and allow staff members to genuinely address their concerns with the ANC management.”

Mdala called on fellow staff members not to be deterred by “the frivolous propaganda mission” and urged them to remain resolute in their quest to seek respect and dignity from their employer.

“We also call upon all our structures to join hands in improving the working conditions as it has a negative impact in broader operations of the organisation,” he added.

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