Pretoria - The SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) in Tshwane will embark on a march next week to compel the metro to address workers’ salary increases and unpaid leave days.
The union is emboldened to take to the street following a July 26 ruling at the Labour Court dismissing the City’s application to gag protests.
Samwu regional chairperson Nkhetheni Muthavhi said they would organise a workers’ mass meeting outside Tshwane House.
Chief among the meeting’s agenda would be to fight for a salary increase for workers after the metro’s exemption application from a wage agreement with the unions was dismissed by the SA Local Government Bargaining Council.
The City has taken the matter on review at the Labour Court and parties are still awaiting a date for the case hearing.
“After the City failed to pay a 3.5% salary increase, Samwu followed an enforcement route and applied for a compliance order. The order was granted in our favour, but unfortunately the City failed to implement it,” the union said.
According to Samwu, the bargaining council scheduled the matter for arbitration on March 9.
“During the hearing, the City requested the arbitrator to stay off the hearing, noting that it applied for exemption on March 8.
“The City lost the exemption application, and the arbitration hearing was scheduled for May 26. On that day, the City requested that the matter be postponed since it had filed a review application on exemption with the Labour Court,” said the union.
Muthavhi said the matter was postponed considering a settlement proposal, but unfortunately the parties could not agree.
“The proposal was outside the letter and spirit of the collective agreement.
“The matter will now be heard by the bargaining council on August 19,” he said.
He added that the metro’s exemption application was dismissed by the bargaining council senior panellist on April 8.
“As they always do, the City exercised its recourse and took the matter for review with the Labour Court.
“Parties are still awaiting a date from the Labour Court,” he said.
The union lambasted mayor Randall Williams.
“Under his leadership we are sprinting from one crisis to the other. Top notches are not paid, encashment of leave is a challenge and other benefits are being dealt with.
“The City has money but the mayor is unable to assist in utilising such in the best interest of employees and residents,” the union said.
Samwu also claimed that there were continued attempts by the City to discredit its existence as the workers’ representative.
Mayoral spokesperson Sipho Stuurman previously denied claims that there was a political plan to weaken the union in the metro.