'Non-striking Pikitup workers facing intimidation'

Workers affiliated to Imatu claim they have been intimidated by colleagues who have downed tools.

FILE: Some Pikitup workers have embarked on an unprotected strike over wages. Picture: @urbanjoburg/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Non-striking Pikitup workers affiliated to the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) claim they have been intimidated by colleagues who've downed tools.

Yesterday, the company gave the 3,500 striking workers, affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu), an ultimatum to return to work or face dismissal.

The union is demanding higher wages and for the resignation of the company's boss.

But Keith Swanepoel of trade union Imatu has called on striking employees to return to work.

"Some our members are being threatened, and Pikitup needs to ensure that our members are safe. I think if we could get the services going again it would be brilliant."

The City of Johannesburg says Pikitup operations have still not completely recovered from a two-week long illegal strike in December and it will therefore take strong action to stop any more unprotected work stoppages.

Last year, workers called for a basic salary of R10,000.