Samwu calls for striking workers to return to work but Tshwane Mayor says it’s too late

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PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Lerato Mbhiza

Tshwane Mayor Cilliers Brink welcomed the end of the five-week-long strike by members affiliated with the South African Municipal Workers Union but he said the call came five weeks too late.

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“This is what we have been calling for five weeks. Unfortunately, that call by Samwu’s leadership was late. We are still seeing significant people coming to work and refusing to take instructions. We are also still seeing acts of violence and intimidation directed at staff and service providers.  

“I would encourage the leadership of Samwu to take a step further and to try and have these messages resonate among their members even further than it has. The strike has done significant damage to the city,” said Brink.

Brink added that the trust relationship between the city and the residents has deteriorated due to the lack of service delivery.

“Even if there is a complete return to services, there are costs associated with this unprotected strike that we will have to bear for a certain period of time.”

Samwu members embarked on a strike at the end of July to protest the non-payment of salary increases and it has led to a significant interruption in the delivery of services such as electricity outage repairs, water restoration and refuse removal.

There were also reports of non-striking employees being intimidated and attacked, with the city obtaining an interdict against the striking workers.

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