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City of Tshwane Negotiating in Bad Faith and Protecting Racists

  • Monday, 23 January 2017 15:16
23 January 2017

The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) Tshwane Region has noted with disappointment the statements made by the Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane councillor Solly Msimang on current labour disputes in the City of Tshwane. SAMWU views this as fabrication of facts and the Mayor seeks to avoid real issues leading to this dispute. We therefore have no any other choice but to provide real facts on the matter.
Workers at Centurion electricity depot reported a racial incident against Director Mr Frans Du Toit to the Regional Executive Director Mr Tebello Masehe. Mr Du Toit is alleged to have called workers Kaffirs and baboons. Nothing was done for two weeks and Shopstewards of both SAMWU and IMATU tries to engage the alleged racist Mr Frans Du Toit and they were told that unions were not recognized in his depot.

SAMWU Regional Office presented the employer with all affidavits and there is no movement. Workers are still expected to report to the same person they complained about. This indicate that the City of Tshwane does not treat this matter with the sensitivity and respect that they deserve. Instead of addressing complainants laid by workers, they are now being victimized with the mayor now having have joined in on the bandwagon. Instead of addressing the real issues, City of Tshwane went to court to force employees to submit and continue to report to the same racist they complained about, this equates to institutionalized racism. The same Mayor has not even sad anything nor assured workers of a safe and healthy working environment.

SAMWU has been engaging the City of Tshwane on permanent absorption of contract workers since February 2016. During Local Labour Forum held in November 2016 the City of Tshwane committed that the matter will be finalized by the Mayoral Committee on December 7, 2016. The Executive Mayor had said in many of his media statements that no workers will lose their jobs. In trying to update workers on the matter, the employer convened a meeting with workers at Finance on 17 January 2017 and indicated that 3000 workers will be absorbed.

The issue created panic within workers and they demanded that the employer clarify who will be part of the 3000. In resolving the matter, the employer promised workers that a meeting will be held with the Executive Mayor committed in writing on 18 January 2017 after a Mayoral Committee Meeting. On the 18 January 2017 the Mayor and Acting City Manager refused to meet workers. Workers decided not to resume their duties until their issue is clarified. SAMWU was never taken to court on the matter instead four individuals who belong to both SAMWU and IMATU were respondents. The employer created the situation and must therefore resolve the matter by clarifying workers on who is part of the 3000.

As much as the City of Tshwane had committed to the media that they will not retrench workers, SAMWU has learned with shock that 305 employees have been served with termination letters. This is unfortunate even though the City has 50 percent vacancy rate with more than 10 000 posts still vacant. This equates to negotiation in bad faith since the issue of permanent absorption of contract workers is still under discussion at Local Labour Forum. SAMWU therefore calls on the Executive Mayor and the City of Tshwane to reinstate the 305 terminated workers and further provide clarity on the 3000 to be absorbed.

Issued on SAMWU Tshwane Region

Mpho Tladinyane

Regional Secretary

083 941 5888