Samwu strike looms

Samwu says Salga has been unwilling to negotiate.

Samwu members gather at the South African Local Government Association's offices in Braamfontein during a protest march over wage increases on 19 August 2011. Picture: Tshepo Lesole/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Negotiations between the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) and the South African Local Government Association (Salga) have completely broken down and efforts to prevent a national strike have failed, said Samwu on Saturday.

Samwu is demanding a higher house allowance and maternity leave for its members.

The union claims that Salga has been unwilling to negotiate.

Should a strike go ahead, about 200 thousand Samwu members are expected to down tools in over 300 municipalities across the country.

Samwu spokesperson Tahir Sema said "We have been negotiating at the level of bargaining council for a number of years now on these demands but we have not been successful in attaining them and as a result of this the possibility of strike action is very high at present."

Sema said their members have not yet taken part in a strike ballot but the union has already made a principled decision.

"We are consulting our members and they will give the final go ahead, however, the union has an in principled decision already to take national strike action over the failed negotiations."