Samwu calls on members to stay away from work until they get protective gear

The union said it had received complaints that municipal workers are being forced to take leave if they failed to perform certain services during the lockdown.

FILE: Samwu members marching to Tshwane House to deliver a memorandum of demands based on governance failure in the City. Picture: Twitter/Samwu

DURBAN - The South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) has called on its members to stay away from work until they're given personal protective equipment.

The union said it had received complaints that municipal workers were being forced to take leave if they failed to perform certain services during the lockdown.

It's appealed to members to refuse to sign any leave forms once they returned to their posts.

Samwu’s Dumisane Magagula said many municipalities around the country were trying to coerce workers to apply for leave in order to save salary costs during the nationwide lockdown.

Magagula said one such case was found in the Free State said: “We have a case in the Free State where employees have been told to take leave or the municipality is going to take those leave days without employees applying for those leave days.”

He said as the country battled to curb the spread of COVID-19, health and safety issues for essential services workers were also of great concern.

“Where they are giving out gloves, they will be giving out disposable gloves but expect employees to use the same gloves for a week. In other municipalities, they have told employees to bring in their own gloves.”

The union has called on municipalities to ensure that the safety of workers is ensured in line with the occupational health and safety standards.

It has also called on workers to refuse to work if they feel their safety has not been guaranteed.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.