The South African Municipal Workers Union says it will go ahead as planned with its protected strike at the end of October in the City of Cape Town. At a press conference in Athlone on Wednesday, Samwu Cape metro regional secretary Mike Khumalo said municipal workers would go on strike on the 31st of October as a result of the City’s reported inability to resolve workers’ grievances as was directed by Mayor Patricia de Lille. This follows a list of demands was handed over in a memorandum to the Mayor during a SAMWU march earlier this year.
Khumalo said: “In … response to our memorandum of demand the mayor [said] she carefully considered the demands set out … in the memorandum of May 2014. She said she cannot infringe on the gains made by the union through collective bargaining or the rights we negotiated at that level.”
Instead, despite the Mayor’s directive, Khumalo said City managers have still not complied with their demands for transformation, having only shown up for the stipulated amount of meetings with Samwu representatives and no more.
“Directorates [like] Safety and Security have shown no interest to comply with the Mayor’s decision and we believe that it amounts to the act of insubordination and that disciplinary action should be taken against the Executive Director just like any other employee,” Khumalo explained.
Some of the grievances Samwu demands be resolved or engaged with by the City of Cape Town include transport for workers who live a great distance from their place of employment; issues of discrimination and unfair treatment in the workplace; the unfilled vacancies that remain in several departments across the City as well as the proper implementation of the Employment Equity Act across the City. VOC (Andriques Che Petersen)