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Labour Court orders Jhb firefighters to return to work

The City of Johannesburg applied for the interdict this morning to stop the work-to-rule action.

FILE: Johannesburg firefighters meet emergency services's management in Kempton Park on 11 June 2015. Picture: Louise McAuliffe/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Labour Court has granted an interim order to force a group of firefighters to urgently return to working their 12-hour shifts.

The City of Johannesburg applied for the interdict this morning to stop the work-to-rule action, which has seem some firefighters refuse to work past 4pm without being paid overtime.

The firefighters say they are tired of working for free and are adamant that they have been asking management to take their grievances seriously since 2001.

Speaking outside court, lawyers for the City of Johannesburg explained that the conduct of not working past 4pm has been interdicted and people must go back to regular work.

Dan Motsoneng, who represents the firefighters, says they expected the order, but are not ready to give up just yet.

"We're adamant, we're strong, we understand the procedure, we understand the implications of the judge's decision."

He says firefighters will respect the interim order and return to work 12-hour shifts, but will lay out their arguments in further legal papers, leading up to a battle over whether the order will be made final.

More than ten firefighters have been served with suspension notices in connection with the protest.