Samwu’s call to end Tshwane wage strike ‘came too late’

Five weeks into the wage strike in Tshwane, the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) has directed its members to go back to work.

The decision follows the city manager’s implementation of a “no work, no pay” policy.

The strike, which has resulted in job losses and significant disruptions in the city’s service delivery, has been deemed unlawful.

According to Tshwane mayor Cilliers Brink, Samwu’s call for workers to return to work has come too late, considering the damage already inflicted.

He explained that it has caused significant hardships for residents with some employees getting shot, attacks on service providers, property destruction, and even obstructing firefighters from saving the city’s assets.

Brink emphasized that the damage is extensive, saying even if work resumes, the city will bear the costs of the strike for a considerable duration.

Additionally, the trust between residents and the city has been eroded due to disruption of services.

“[The] reality is that on the ground the strike is not over,” said Brink.

“We are still seeing so-called go-slows and significant work stoppages by employees who still refuse to follow work instructions.

“There are also ongoing acts of violence and intimidation directed at staff and service providers.

“Taking the current circumstances into account, I would like to encourage Samwu leadership to further engage their members to ensure that the no-strike message is clear.” 

Meanwhile, the DA has urged Samwu to conduct union activities in a responsible manner ahead of a planned meeting where the city will engage with the Local Government Collective Bargaining Council to request an exemption for planned salary hikes.

“The DA earnestly implores Samwu to display responsible leadership by presenting its members’ concerns at the negotiation table and insisting on the end of the wave of sabotage, disruption, and illegality,” said Kwena Moloto, DA Tshwane caucus spokesperson.

“Further to this, the DA fully supports the principled stance taken by the city manager to implement a ‘no work, no pay’ policy.

“As a result, wages will be proportionately reduced for municipal employees who have chosen to participate in this illegal strike.

“The DA puts this loss of income of Samwu members solely at the feet of the union leadership and demands them to take responsibility for the effect of their actions on members.”


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