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Litter piles up as strike continues

The streets of downtown Johannesburg are filled with dirt left by the striking Pikitup workers. File picture: Boxer Ngwenya

The streets of downtown Johannesburg are filled with dirt left by the striking Pikitup workers. File picture: Boxer Ngwenya

Published Nov 25, 2015

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Johannesburg - The litter in Joburg’s streets is mounting by the hour as Pikitup workers failed to return to work on Wednesday morning as ordered by an urgent court interdict obtained late on Tuesday afternoon by the utility.

Union leaders said on Wednesday morning they were engaging with workers to discuss the interdict which, among others, ordered them to return to work.

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South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) regional chairman, Conel Mackay, said “as a law-abiding union, we will return to work and later embark on a strike using the legal processes.”

He accused managing director Amanda Nair of hiding behind the law instead of addressing the workers.

“Following the events of the past few days where she called the police who shot at workers with live bullets, and the court interdict yesterday, our number one priority now is to get rid of Amanda Nair as managing director,” he said.

Other serious, legitimate grievances were salary inconsistencies.

“Our general workers are the lowest paid out of all the entities and utilities. Especially affected are those workers who have been with Pikitup a long time. New staff earn more than they do,” he said.

Police said only rubber bullets were used against the strikers.

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The court on Tuesday ordered that the workers return to work.

It said they were prevented from participating in unprotected and unlawful strike action.

In a Twitter post on Wednesday morning, @CityofJoburgZA wrote: “Metrobus passengers are hereby informed our bus service may be adversely affected by a work stoppage by employees today.”

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Passengers are urged to contact the call centre at 011 375 5555 and choose option 6 or dial 0860 JOBURG (562874) and option 6 for further details.

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[email protected]

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