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Tshwane workers implicated in illegal strike related to wage increase face chop

Protesting City of Tshwane workers in Centurion last week. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Protesting City of Tshwane workers in Centurion last week. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 24, 2022

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Pretoria - Tshwane workers implicated in staging an illegal strike last week have been given until today to furnish their employer with reasons why they should not be fired.

This followed notices of intention to terminate their contracts issued by the municipality on Tuesday.

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Since March 15, the City has been experiencing intermittent service delivery disruptions due to striking workers, who also intimidated their colleagues from rendering services to residents.

The Pretoria News understands that the strike was related to a wage increase demanded by workers, especially after the City applied for exemption from wage agreement with unions.

In January, the council voted against a 3.5% salary increase for municipal workers for the 2021/2022 financial year that would have cost the metro R430 million.

Executive mayor Randall Williams this week announced that the City had begun issuing notices of intention to terminate employees involved in illegal strikes.

Williams said approximately 19 employees based at the Mayville depot received letters of intention to terminate their services.

Workers were represented by the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu).

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Williams said yesterday: “They have until Thursday (today) to provide written reasons why their services should not be terminated. The City will thereafter take a decision on whether to terminate their services or not.”

He said the majority of employees were committed to their work and to serving the residents in the face of intimidation, threats and physical violence against their lives.

An employee from the electricity department, Benjamin Dube, was admitted to hospital after being attacked at the weekend in Soshanguve for supporting teams responding to power outages.

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Samwu, on the other hand, said a municipal worker was brutally assaulted by community members because they believed “the lies peddled by the City”.

“This was not the first time that workers have been attacked by community members, especially in Soshanguve. Wwe have on numerous occasions pleaded with the City for the safety of workers following the increase in such attacks,” the union said.

The union said it was concerned about the City’s claims that workers had embarked on an illegal strike because that resulted in community members turning against municipal workers. “We place it on record that Samwu has not called for a strike in the City of Tshwane as yet,” he said.

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The union blamed Williams and acting city manager Mmaseabata Mutlaneng for driving a wedge between workers and community members.

Pretoria News

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