Salga's hands tied in addressing Pikitup strike

Salga says it would be difficult to negotiate because of the recent signing of a wage agreement.

FILE: The strike by Pikitup employees affiliated to Samwu has entered the second week.  Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Local Government Association(Salga) says while it can intervene in the Pikitup strike, it will be difficult to address workers' salary demands after the recent signing of a wage agreement.

Pikitup and the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) are at loggerheads over employee demands for better pay.

While Salga is the only body with the authority to discuss municipal workers' salaries, it says it hasn't been asked to intervene by either the City of Joburg or Samwu.

The industrial action, now in its second week, has seen some striking workers litter the streets of Johannesburg with refuse.

Salga's Tahir Sema says one of the difficulties with negotiating is the fact that the wage agreement signed with unions is binding over three years.

"The salary and wage negotiations for the sector have been concluded, and a three-year deal has been signed. It therefore makes it difficult to consider any wage demand that include salary increases because this process has already been concluded."