Pikitup to take harsh steps if employees don't return to work

The refuse removal workers have been ordered by a court order to return to work immediately.

Pikitup employees affiliated to Samwu embarked on an unprotected strike through the streets if Johannesburg. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Refuse removal company Pikitup has warned striking staff there will be harsh consequences if they don't abide by a court order and return to their posts immediately.

Thousands of workers affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) went on strike earlier this week, demanding salary increases and better working conditions.

Nine people were injured on Tuesday during a demonstration in the Johannesburg CBD when police intervened to disperse the crowd.

The refuse company has since obtained a court interdict, ordering the workers to return to depots.

Pikitup says it will institute a principle of 'no work no pay' if the workers continue their illegal strike.

Nair has denied claims that she won't meet with workers and says she expects operations to return normally today.

"The other side would be a total defiance of the order of the court which would be extremely unfortunate."

Nair has weathered several scandals at Pikitup, but was cleared and remained in her position.

WATCH: Chaos in Johannesburg as Pikitup employees strike.

Pikitup spokesperson Jacky Mashapu says, "If these people continue to strike, we'll also exercise our rights in terms of the Labour Relations Act."

Mashapu says management is open to talks with employees.

But he says they must use the right channels to voice out their grievances.

"We have not received any formal communication from them, to indicate what it is that they're disgruntled about."

Rubbish, burnt dustbins and tyres were scattered on the streets around Pikitup's headquarters and mayor's office on Tuesday.

#PikitupStrike This is how several roads look in the Joburg CBD. TK pic.twitter.com/3DYADvhCRE

#PikitupStrike [Watch] Workers singing outside Parks Tau's office. TK pic.twitter.com/kh1jdlt9xF

Mashapu has urged residents to keep their rubbish bins inside their properties until further notice.