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CT firefighters threaten to boycott overtime shifts over pay

Samwu said if the City of Cape Town refused to come to an agreement, the firefighters would only work from 8 am until 4 pm.

Two firefighters "take a load off" after battling raging fires in Clovelly in the Cape. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town firefighters threatened to boycott overtime shifts next month amid a dispute with the municipality.

On Tuesday, the South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) said if the City of Cape Town refused to come to an agreement, the firefighters would only work from 8 am until 4 pm. The union said firefighters were working 72 to 80 hours a week.

Samwu’s Sebenzile Kiva said they raised the overtime concern with the city earlier this year, but nothing was done.

“We said to them we would down tools from 1 October 2019 because we want the firefighters to work according to the work hours that they are getting paid.”

Kiva said a shortage of firefighters also meant the members had to work additional hours.

The city could not provide details of how many hours firefighters were expected to work or how they would be paid for overtime work.

The city’s Richard Bosman said they were engaging with unions and would ensure there was no impact on service delivery.

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