Pretoria - The Public Service and Commercial Union has weighed in on the plight of more than 500 workers who were dismissed by the City of Tshwane, criticising the municipality for not caring about the poor.
The union’s secretary-general, Tahir Maepa, told fired workers on May Day that all the DA-led coalition cared about was to balance the financial books at the expense of their suffering.
“There is no reason why the majority of you today have been dismissed because you did nothing wrong. (You were dismissed) simply because somebody who is responsible decided that paying you a salary is too expensive. They dismissed you because they wanted to balance their books with your suffering,” Maepa said.
The 627 workers in question were employed to assist at the waste management department.
The City previously said those workers were hired on a fixed 12-month contract from November 2019 until October 31, 2020.
At least 88 of them took the City to the South African Local Government Bargaining Council, demanding to be absorbed permanently as the City’s employees.
On February 28, the bargaining council found that the workers had been dismissed unfairly and that they should be reinstated.
The City, however, took the matter to the Labour Court, with a view to overturning the bargaining council’s ruling. Maepa said the union was part of the labour case and promised to update the workers about developments in due course.
“They don’t care about you, they don’t care about your families, they don’t care about your children. All that they care about is to have good annual reports,” he said.
He vowed that his union was on a mission to liberate the workers of Tshwane and Johannesburg and “give them the dignity that they deserve”.
“We are being led by devils in human form. We have been led by people who have no sympathy or empathy for our people. Everybody is looking away when you as workers are suffering and your children are suffering,” he said.
He lashed out at all political parties and politicians for not being honest and only taking advantage of the poor at election time. “And I’m not only talking about the ANC. As far as I know there is no politician that is honest. It can be the EFF, it can be the ANC, it can be the DA, and the DA is even worse because those liberals are the most dangerous people that we have in this country,” Maepa said.
“Come elections they (politicians) will be coming to your shacks and houses and even sleep there simply because they just want your votes.”