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Pikitup: We won’t commit to salary increases or negotiations

The waste removal company says workers embarked on an illegal strike & are in contempt of a court order.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Pikitup says it will not commit to salary increases and will not negotiate with workers as they have embarked on an illegal strike and are in contempt of a court order.

The board of the utility met with unions at the weekend, but the dispute over salaries continues.

Refuse workers have been on strike for a week demanding salary increases and the removal of the company's managing director.

The Red Ants have now been brought in to help clear away the rubbish and collection points have also been set up.

Pikitup Managing Director Amanda Nair says they've encouraged employees to return to work.

"The best thing we can ask the South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) to do is to please ask their workers to go back to work. The workers that have been out on the streets, uncertain about what the issue is, will not be paid."

LISTEN: Speaking to 702'S John Robbie, Pikitup Managing Director Amanda Nair said they were resorting to alternative measures to curb the dangerous amounts of rubbish posing a health risk in the city.

STRIKE DAMAGE COSTS R2M A DAY

Pikitup says the ongoing strike is costing the city R2 million a day.

Nair says they are in the process of evaluating the damage caused by the unprotected strike.

She says the cost of the strike is set to increase.

"We are probably spending about R2 million on the strike, in terms of the operational activities that we'll be undertaking, additional security arrangements and of course we have a whole legal team."

The city's Matshidiso Mfikoe says legal and disciplinary action will be taken against those who have been found to have vandalised property.

WATCH: Striking Pikitup employees leave parts of Braam in a stench