Samwu: City must focus on cause, not effect of Pikitup strike

Samwu says the city angered workers when it missed a deadline to report back on salary proposals.

Rubbish has been strewn on the streets of Johannesburg following another violent demostration in the city. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Municipal workers' union, the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) has accused the City of Johannesburg of focusing on the effects of the Pikitup strike rather than the cause.

Last year, a politically facilitated agreement was signed between the union and the city which saw Human Resource specialists called in to update and correct details on workers' contracts.

Further negotiations were expected on issues including salary progressions, but a communication breakdown has left Pikitup at the receiving end of yet another unprotected strike.

Samwu claims the city angered Pikitup workers when it missed a February deadline to report back with its proposal to address salary disparities.

Deputy regional chairperson Vuyani Singonzo says, "The employer went underground and never engaged us. We are still waiting for an invitation from the employer."

But Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau says workers didn't give the city a chance to present its side and negotiate fairly.

WATCH: JHB Mayor won't tolerate messy Pikitup protest

Now, the waste management company is spending around R1 million per day to ensure refuse is collected by temporary workers as its employees remain on strike.