Unions also claim that workers have not received Covid-19 allowances and personal protective equipment.
WORKERS at Umsobomvu Local Municipality in the Northern Cape have been engaged in strike action since Monday over upgraded salaries and a list of other demands.
Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) technical adviser Zakhele Baardman said that over 100 workers in the district had downed tools and had gathered outside the municipal offices in Colesberg on Tuesday.
“Strike action will continue until our grievances are resolved,” said Baardman.
SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) technical adviser Lungile Gerzana said that they had come across a council resolution that was made in 2015 to upgrade the municipality from category one to category two.
“However, this council resolution was never implemented, so the increased salaries should be backdated to 2015. The accounting officer told us that he was not aware of this document, while the other managers were not able to give us an explanation,” said Gerzana.
He also claimed that workers had not received Covid-19 allowances and personal protective equipment (PPE) that they were entitled to.
“The municipality is supposed to determine the Covid-19 allowances which should have been paid as from July 3, 2020 in terms of a bargaining council resolution but no allowance has ever been received.
“Workers were last supplied with overalls three years ago and this is an occupational health and safety priority.”
Umsobomvu Municipality spokesperson Siyabulela Phololo indicated that a meeting was held by representatives from the SA Local Government Association (Salga) and both municipal unions in an attempt to find a resolution to the matters that were raised.
“Management, together with the recent council, are not aware of any council resolution to upgrade salaries. Council does not have a function of resolving on workers’ salaries as this is a matter that must be dealt with by the bargaining council. We have not been informed of the outcome of the meeting yet,” said Phololo.