Pretoria - The SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) has remained mum on what action they would be taking regarding a memorandum confirming the filling of vacancies of staff dismissed due to the ongoing City of Tshwane strike.
More than 120 municipal workers were fired in recent weeks by the metro for taking part in an unprotected strike that has hit service delivery in the capital city.
The striking workers are demanding pay increases of up to 5.4%. However, the city has cried broke.
The memo seen by Pretoria News, dated October 3 and addressed to group head regional operations and co-ordination, Cali Phanyane, confirms that city manager Johan Mettler has started the process of advertising the vacancies. The memo read in part “Following this morning's discussion, please take note that all regional heads are hereby requested to move forward with filling the positions where employees have been dismissed due to the illegal strike action.
“All documents need to be submitted to the group human capital for urgent attention.”
Speaking to the Pretoria News yesterday, the metro’s spokesperson, Lindela Mashigo, said that the process of filling vacant positions, which should be in line with the city’s recruitment processes, was still at an inception phase.
“It must be emphasised that there is a dire need to kick-start the process of advertising the posts for service delivery not to be compromised,” Mashigo said.
Asked about the status of the appeals by dismissed workers, he replied: “The court process will deal with the matters around the dismissals, as prescribed in the Labour Relations Act.”
When the Pretoria News sent questions to Samwu’s provincial secretary, Mpho Tladinyane, yesterday morning along with the memo, he ignored the the queries, only to refer the questions to the union’s Tshwane secretary Precious Theledi in the afternoon.
Theledi’s phone remained unanswered.
Some political parties have spoken out against the decision.
Last week, the EFF took to the streets to put pressure on the City of Tshwane to reinstate the employees who were dismissed for participating in the unprotected strike over the salary increments.
The Transformation Alliance's Abel Tau said the decision was ill-advised, reeked of arrogance and was provocative.
Tau called on the city to reconsider.
“We are of an understanding that the dismissed workers are appealing the City’s decision to fire them, thus making this matter sub judice. Therefore, any move to replace the dismissed workers would be illegal.
“For a City that is failing to resolve a three-month long strike and struggling to deliver basic services, Tshwane sure knows how to be provocative. This sheer arrogance by the government and administration in the City will not help the situation at all. If anything, it will make matters worse,” Tau said.