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CT fire station left with 3 members after firefighters boycott overtime work

Samwu had warned that its members, which represented 60% of the City of Cape Town's 900 firefighters, would only work from 8am to 4.30pm from Tuesday.

A fire engine at the Roeland Street fire station in Cape Town. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Eyewitness News was told most of the firefighters at the Roeland Street station in Cape Town heeded a call to boycott overtime work.

Firefighters affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) are demanding a change to the overtime pay structure.

The union had warned that its members, which represent 60% of the City's 900 firefighters, would only work 8am to 4.30pm from Tuesday.

Disgruntled firefighters say when they left the Roland Street Station after their eight-hour shifts on Tuesday afternoon, there were only three members left to man the station.

It is unclear whether all Samwu affiliated firefighters on duty have heeded the call to boycott overtime work.

Earlier, there were claims that Samwu members were told to go home after they reported for duty at 8am, but the City of Cape Town denies this.

Executive director for safety and security for the City of Cape Town Richard Bosman said that "off-duty" workers were asked to leave, but he added there was no forced removal of workers.

He explained Metro Police officers were deployed to some stations where those officers were loitering.

Bosman reiterated that the city would take disciplinary action against the firefighters who were refusing to work overtime.

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