Will Samwu, Pikitup bosses reach an agreement this week?

Workers are demanding a R10,000 monthly salary before they return to their posts.

FILE: Pikitup workers have been on strike for five weeks. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) says it hopes to reach an agreement with Pikitup bosses that could see workers returning to work before Friday.

Pikitup workers have been on strike for five weeks now, demanding higher wages and their managing director Amanda Nair's resignation.

Earlier this week, the union vowed to intensify its unprotected strike.

But Samwu's Paul Tlhabang said a deal could be reached.

"Management has decided they'll engage us and we're hoping that this time around we will find a lasting resolution to the problem. Before Friday they may be back at work."

Workers are demanding a R10,000 monthly salary for the lowest paid workers before they return to their posts.

Samwu's deputy regional chair Vuyani Singonzo earlier said management was "extremely arrogant".

"The employer seems to display delaying tactics, placing 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."