Samwu calls off strike

Samwu members in one of the protest actions.

Samwu spokesperson, Papikie Mohale said the union’s national office bearers have learnt of the latest developments at the City of Johannesburg’s waste management entity, Pikitup and have engaged the regional leadership which is currently leading the protest action. “We have further taken steps to ensure that our members’ legitimate grievances are addressed and such we will be meeting with Pikitup management in a bid to resolve the impasse,” Mohale said.

In the latest strike action which started on 9 March 2016, Pikitup workers upended dustbins and scattered litter around the Joburg CBD as part of their illegal strike for salary increases. Workers affiliated with Samwu are demanding that their salaries be increased to between R9000 and R10 000 a month.

On that day Pikitup released a statement saying, The City of Johannesburg, the board and management of Pikitup was condemning the unlawful action taken by the union. Pikiup spokesperson Jacky Mashapu said, “The unlawful action is against the spirit of the ongoing engagement with Samwu and the concessions made by the City of Johannesburg and Pikitup to accommodate Samwu’s demands. Every effort is being made to speedily address this illegal work stoppage.”

On 10 March, in a media briefing, MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services, Matshidiso Mfikoe also apologised for the disruption of waste management services and the severe inconvenience to the residents of Joburg as a result of recurring unprotected work stoppages by employees affiliated to the union. She said, “The City and Samwu agreed on 3 December 2015 to restore a relationship of trust and engage with each other in a process facilitated by senior counsel, appointed by the Gauteng Provincial Government member of the executive council, Jacob Mamabolo.

“Events of yesterday clearly demonstrate that Samwu is negotiating in bad faith. Employees affiliated to Samwu embarked on the stoppage yesterday while negotiations were in progress. As the City we have done everything possible to resolve all the concerns raised by Samwu in an amicable manner,” Mfikoe said.

Aphiwe Boyce
Metro Reporter

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