File picture: Independent Media

Port Elizabeth – Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality on Friday said it had reached an agreement on back pay with striking workers to end their work stoppage.

The agreement came a day after hundreds of striking SA Municipal Workers Union members marched to East London City Hall in protest over salary disputes and back pay. The strike started two weeks ago.

A group of workers trashed parts of East London by spilling rubbish onto the streets. Workers reportedly also set fire to electricity boxes near the municipality’s Trust Building.

In a statement on Friday Executive Mayor Alfred Mtsi said the municipality had reached an agreement with workers.

Mtsi said the CCMA had helped broker the agreement on union demands for back pay for two years because of delays in the job evaluation process.

Mtsi said: “Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality has undertaken to pay the employees their Job Evaluation Adjustment Allowance in the amount R15 000 as a once off payment to each employee as follows: R 9 838.00 within a period of fourteen days and the remaining amount of R5 162.00 will be paid at the earliest possible date of the next financial year”.

Mtsi added: “The employer will withdraw their application for an interdict with costs immediately after the Trade Unions have called off their strike”.

He also apologised to East London residents for any inconveniences caused by the strike.

Meanwhile, Mayoral spokesperson, Sibusiso Pindi warned that investigations were in the pipeline with regards to workers who vandalised buildings and broke equipment.

Pindi said that even the unions did not condone such behavior which amounted to “breaking the law”.

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