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CoCT appeals to firefighters to honour current shift structure

The firefighters were not happy with the current overtime pay structure and on Thursday marched to the Civic Centre and Parliament.

Firefighters and members of Samwu march in Cape Town on 26 September 2019. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town has appealed to firefighters to honour their current working conditions amid threats to boycott overtime work.

The firefighters were not happy with the current overtime pay structure and on Thursday marched to the Civic Centre and Parliament.

They have threatened to only work from 8am to 4pm from 1 October, if their demands are not met.

Mayco member JP Smith said that the firefighters' current demands would require an additional R146 million.

He was also of the opinion that trade union Samwu had not used the correct channels and questioned whether a proposed change to the overtime structure would benefit firefighters.

Smith believed that most firefighters preferred the current 24-hour shift system, but one firefighter protesting in the CBD yesterday said that they were not happy.

"We work a 24-hour shift, we respond to different calls, fires, medical, we see people die, people die in our arms, we see people get burned but the city doesn't see that. To them, we're just another number."

The city has questioned some of the claims made by the union but said that it was committed to resolving the matter.

However, the protesting firefighters rejected the city's representative and demanded that management hear their grievances.