CoJ, unions sign memorandum of understanding to reduce municipal strikes

The South African Municipal Workers Union and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union are part of the agreement which will see protests being the last resort in addressing workers' grievances.

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba briefs the media on 24 April 2019 at the council chambers. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Johannesburg, together with labour unions, have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at reducing municipal strikes and putting more focus on effective service delivery.

The South African Municipal Workers Union and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) are part of the agreement which will see protests being the last resort in addressing workers' grievances.

Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said this collaboration would ensure that employees were reskilled in order to protect jobs and enhance service delivery.

Mashaba said gone were the days where a group of disgruntled employees simply mobilised themselves to unilaterally strike without following due process.

“The ones [strikes] that you see, are ones that are organised… they’ve got nothing to do with the formal structures of the City of Johannesburg. And now, we’ve got this MOU that regulates our relationship.”

The unions, however, said they had not given away their right to strike.

Imatu’s Keith Swanepoel said: “We are not signing anything. So, the mayor could still be surprised one morning, and we have a strike. It’s our right.”

The city said this memorandum of understanding would mitigate service delivery disruptions which it believed were aimed at sabotaging the administration.

The pact would be legally binding on all parties involved.