City of JHB calls for action after claims of assault by Pikitup workers

It’s understood private contractors instructed to clean up during the strike are now also being attacked.

Striking Pikitup workers affiliated to Samwu embarked on an unprotected strike in the Johannesburg CBD, 10 March 2016. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Johannesburg has called on those who have been intimidated by striking Pikitup workers to lay charges with police after it emerged private contractors instructed to clean up the city have now also been attacked.

Waste removal workers affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) have been on an unprotected strike since Wednesday, demanding salary increases and that Pikitup boss Amanda Nair be removed.

Rival union, the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) says a female member has been intimidated because she wanted to work and has laid a charge with the police.

The city's Matshidiso Mfikoe says management is extremely concerned about the level of violence by striking workers.

"We had them burning a truck, one of the trucks that we procured to do cleaning in the inner city. We're hoping that their leadership will prevail."

National structures of Samwu have called on Johannesburg members to go back to work immediately, but regional leaders say they will continue until all their demands are met.

The union's regional leader Paul Tlhabang says, "Our case is solely on those two demands."

The city says workers who remain on strike will be dismissed.