Samwu: Wage talks facing imminent collapse

The union has been in negotiations with Salga since its members went on strike earlier this month.

FIEL:  Chaos broke out in the Cape Town CBD during the Samwu strike. Samwu members were running amok. Picture: Xolani Koyana/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) says wage talks with the body representing more than 270 local municipalities face imminent collapse.

The union has been in negotiations with the South African Local Government Association (Salga) since its members went on strike in Cape Town earlier this month, where they trashed the city's streets and looted shops during a march to the Civic Centre.

They're demanding better wages for standby staff and a transport allowance.

The union has also voiced outrage with a 'policy' in which female firefighters lose allowances while pregnant because they are deemed 'non-operational'.

The union's Papikie Mohale said, "So what happened is that Salga came to the table and indicated that workers would only get an increment which is linked to their performance. We were taken aback bearing in mind into that we do not have an agreement with Salga."

During that strike, Samwu members caused chaos in some parts of Cape Town.

Police fired stun grenades to control the striking workers.

Mayor Patricia De Lille came out to address the protesters, while others jeered as she faced the crowd.

The striking workers had been demanding De Lille come out to accept their memorandum, saying they would not leave until she did so.

Union leaders addressed the crowd, but did not condemn the chaotic scenes and looting by some members.