14 Apr 2010

South African strike escalates

Tens of thousands of council workers in South Africa have been on strike since Monday. They include refuse workers, bus drivers, and traffic wardens.
A bid by the SA Local Government Association to prohibit the strike was withdrawn in the Labour Court, and the association was ordered to carry the strikers' costs incurred in opposing the application.
In Durban, about 30 people dressed in red union T-shirts picketed outside the city hall, dancing, singing and carrying placards that read: "Workers can't afford to pay for their water and electricity, salaries not affording" and "Municipalities must pay same salaries for grades".
They marched into the city's treasury department and demanded that people in the building stop working. But a security guard locked the doors, leaving them singing outside.
About 12,000 people are expected at the union's Durban march tomorrow.
The SAMWU union's key demands include the extension of the Job Evaluation Collective Agreement and a wage cap on the salaries of councillors, municipal managers and Section 57 employees (senior council officials).
A union spokesperson, Tahir Sema, said Samwu would intensify the strike until the worker's demands were met.

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