Samwu members accuse Pikitup of delay tactics

Samwu’s deputy regional chair, Vuyani Singonzo said management is extremely arrogant.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Pikitup workers affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) have accused management of using delay tactics and say the City of Johannesburg is not willing to resolve their industrial action.

More than 4,000 workers affiliated to the union embarked on an unprotected strike nearly a month ago, demanding higher salaries and the removal of Pikitup boss Amanda Nair.

Negotiations between the City of Johannesburg and the union fell through, threatening to see the strike over salary disparities enter a fourth week.

Samwu's deputy regional chair Vuyani Singonzo said management is extremely arrogant.

"The employer seems to display delaying tactics and putting hurdles on the way to resolve this matter by raising up new issues now and demands that our members must go back to work before they can engage us on our proposal."

But Pikitup spokesperson Jacky Mashapu said it's in fact the union that's taking a hard stance.

"It's a very unfortunate situation but we're still hopeful that they will reconsider their position and come back to the negotiating table so that we can address this issue of waste not been collected."

At the same time, Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau said according to a report from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NCID), the city should be concerned about the potential health risks of the Pikitup strike.

A special operation has been initiated to clear illegal dumping sites that have been formed as a result of the three-week work stoppage.

Areas such as Alexandra and Ivory Park have been identified as priority areas which will be targeted first.

Tau said while the NCID report did not foresee any immediate threat, efforts to clean the city must be accelerated.

"We assure the public that we have assigned the head of our Emergency Management Services to run a special operation that deals with clearing all the illegal dump sites, particularly in highly congested, highly dense areas."