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10111 strike: Labour unions join in as SAPS heads to the courts

Aug 11, 2017
10111 strike: Labour unions join in as SAPS heads to the courts

Labour unions, SAFTU and NUMSA, on Friday called on their members to support several South African Policing Union (SAPU)-led pickets happening at various 10111 call centres nationwide, including in the Eastern Cape, as striking workers intensify their industrial action.

Around 5 000 SAPU-aligned call centre workers downed tools in July after wage talks with their employer, the South African Police Service (SAPS) dead-locked.

The workers reportedly want the SAPS to increase their current salary level from level 5 to level 7 - an estimated increase of R50 000 per annum.

SAPU says that workers at the 10111 call centre are among the lowest paid in the call centre industry. It also said that the strike is protected, however the employer might institute a no-work no-pay policy. 

There were fears that there will be a crisis as the 10111 line is used by members of the public to report crimes, emergencies or to provide police investigators with leads on cases. The SAPS has put in place contingency plans at all 10111 Call Centres to ensure that emergency calls are answered and responded to as a priority.

Meanwhile, the SAPS on Friday said that it will bring an urgent application in the Labour Court against SAPU to prevent unlawful conduct by 10111 employees picketing outside the Midrand 10111 Call Centre.

"Since Friday last week, SAPU affiliated 10111 employees who are striking at the Midrand Call Centre have been sporadically intimidating and threatening non-striking employees," described police spokesperson, Major General Sally de Beer. 

"On Thursday, these unlawful acts escalated into them hurling objects at and damaging state vehicles.

"As the South African Police Service has an obligation to deliver optimal service to our communities, including an efficient emergency response capability, the Acting National Commissioner sanctioned that an urgent interdict be brought this morning."

She said that in the meantime, the Acting National Commissioner invited both SAPU and Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRUto a meeting this morning as an intervention from police management to break the impasse in terms of the 10111 strike and to find a way forward to resolve the strike.

"Contingency plans are still in place at all 10111 call centres, which continue to run efficiently with the strike having a minimal effect on service deliveries," said Major General de Beer.

"Problems have only been experienced at the Midrand Centre, Gauteng and we call upon SAPU affiliated employees to stop unlawful acts aimed at forcing others to join the strike."