The City of Tshwane has sent 41 letters of possible suspension to striking municipal workers associated with the union for municipal workers, Samwu, after they failed to comply with the interim interdict obtained by the metro last week.
The metro is now also approaching the labor court in Johannesburg on an urgent basis – this time for contempt of court.
“The striking workers have disregarded the court order and are therefore guilty of contempt of court,” says the metro.
“The city has therefore decided to approach the labor court again today for the enforcement of the interim interdict, which will empower the police to arrest the striking employees and the leadership of Samwu.”
The Tshwane metro council already obtained an interim interdict at the end of last week to stop Samwu’s ongoing (and illegal) strike. This interdict was obtained out of necessity to force striking municipal workers to suspend the strike, and to stop the intimidation of non-striking workers and the damage to property.
And although the majority of municipal employees have since reported back to work, services continue to be disrupted in places due to those who do not show up for work and prevent their colleagues from performing the duties they are paid for.
RNews reported last week that Samwu’s members are unhappy about the wage and salary increase of 0% for 2023‑’24 that the city council approved in June.
However, Cilliers Brink, mayor of Tshwane, made it clear that the metro is in financial trouble and simply cannot afford any salary increases.
“I would very much like to be in a situation where I am the mayor of a city that can afford salary increases for workers,” Brink told Samwu last week. “We are not hostile. We are only looking at the finances,” he explained.
A total of 15 employees of the City of Tshwane have so far been arrested on charges of public violence for their alleged part in the illegal strike and an internal disciplinary investigation will also be instituted.