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Eastern Cape 10111 centers largely unaffected by nationwide strike

Jul 19, 2017
Eastern Cape 10111 centers largely unaffected by nationwide strike

Service delivery at Eastern Cape 10111 centres continued as usual on Wednesday morning as around 5 000 South African Police Union (SAPU) -aligned call centre workers downed tools after wage talks with their employer 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 four SAPS 10111 centres in the Eastern Cape (Mthatha, Port Elizabeth, Queenstown and East London) are running efficiently as advance notification were received about the labour action planned," described Eastern Cape police spokesperson, Brigadier Marinda Mills.

Police officers are understood to have been ropped in to fill the empty stations at the call centre.

"Contingency plans were put into place and the SAPS can assure the public that service delivery continues without interruption at our Centres in the Province," said Brig Mills.

"These measures will continue until the strike is resolved."

Meanwhile, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) said its members are not part of the strike adding that it noted with "disdain the continued use of social media platforms by our detractors in their attempt to mislead our members to join their planned strike that is not sanctioned by our union".

"This is a populist and covert stance that is solely aimed at creating a false impression that they have numbers and can take the employer head on, ignorant of the fact that there are processes that have not come to an end, and therefore jumping the gun," the union said.

"The process of conciliation and mediation has passed without any resolution to the matter, and we are proceeding with the arbitration and are currently awaiting a date for the hearing. The outcomes will be communicated to the latter.

"We remain resolute in addressing the matters through correct procedures as provided for by the Constitution of the Council, and marching or striking can only seek to undermine the process which is underway."

POPCRU said that it is of the firm view that the ongoing arbitration process will be able to resolve the 10111 matter in a way that will be for the benefit of all workers.

"We are faced with rogue elements who have never achieved anything on their own, and instead resort to lies with the intention of gambling with workers’ careers.

"We therefore call on all our members not to participate in activities that are not sanctioned by their own union POPCRU," the union said.

"When POPCRU is to take any action, we shall do so in consultation with our members across all structures of the union. We have the power and the will to get what we want."