A file picture of municipal workers in Tshwane during a previous strike. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
A file picture of municipal workers in Tshwane during a previous strike. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Tshwane council workers threaten to take to streets over outstanding payouts

By Rapula Moatshe Time of article published Feb 16, 2021

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Pretoria - Municipal employees in Tshwane have threatened to undermine their labour unions by taking to the streets over outstanding benchmarking payouts.

The workers are also prepared to disregard an instruction by acting city manager Mmaseabatha Mutlaneng to desist from “unlawful gatherings“.

Workers from the revenue department, who spoke anonymously to the Pretoria News, said numerous efforts to raise their issues with union representatives and the office of the city manager failed to yield results.

Inaction on the part of Mutlaneng to solve their issues had caused disappointment among workers, who threatened to strike should they not receive satisfactory answers this week, they said.

Others said they would embark on go-slow action at their workstations.

On Friday, some workers gathered at Tshwane House to deliberate on the next course of action with regard to pressuring the City to settle their outstanding payouts.

They had planned to go on a full-blown strike yesterday, as stated in a WhatApp message circulating among the workers.

However, their strike was put on hold following Mutlaneng's instruction that the security guards must act against those engaging in illegal gatherings.

An internal memo issued by Mutlaneng on February 11 said: “The security services at Tshwane House will henceforth be issued with strict instructions not to allow unauthorised gatherings to take place in and around Tshwane House.

“Employees are cautioned that they may be making themselves guilty of acts of misconduct whenever they desert their workplaces without prior approval or authority from their managers or supervisors.”

Workers were further reminded that gatherings of employees in large numbers was “unlawful as it contravenes the Covid-19 lockdown regulations as determined by the government and this may lead to further disciplinary action“.

Angry workers, however, told the Pretoria News that they would not be intimidated by Mutlaneng's orders, saying they would act in defiance and host gatherings to fight for their rights.

Recently, SA Municipal Workers Union regional secretary Mpho Tladinyane pleaded with workers to exercise patience, saying their demands were receiving the attention of the employer and the union.

Tladinyane also expressed regret that some workers undermined the unions by engaging directly with the employer.

Chief of staff in the metro Jordan Griffiths previously said the City would honour all the bargaining agreements because they were legally binding.

The payouts were supposed to be in line with the metro’s new ranking acquired in 2017, when the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs adjusted it from category 9 status to category 10.

While the status of the metro was elevated, the salaries of workers were not adjusted accordingly.

Pretoria News

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