Samwu postpones Rand Water strike to allow CCMA intervention

Workers downed tools on Wednesday working conditions, including withdrawing incentive bonuses that workers had been receiving for the last 17 years.

South African Municipal Workers' Union members protesting outside the Rand Water head offices in Johannesburg on 21 April 2021 to demand bonuses. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) has on Wednesday postponed its strike at Rand Water to allow the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to arbitrate in the legal matter between workers and the employer.

This after the Labour Court dismissed an interdict by Rand Water against Samwu calling the picket illegal and unlawful.

Workers downed tools on Wednesday over working conditions, including withdrawing incentive bonuses that workers had been receiving for the last 17 years.

Rand Water had applied for an interdict at the Labour Court to stop the workers from striking, however, the court lambasted Rand Water for failing to meet with the union to solve the issue as a matter of urgency. The court further urged parties to meet and come up with a settlement agreement.

According to Samwu, as per the settlement agreement that had become an order of the court, Rand Water agreed to withdraw the memorandum, which unilaterally changed the conditions of workers.

Samwu, therefore, postponed its strike to 28 April, with the hope that the CCMA will rule in its favour.

"As Samwu, we want the employer to immediately attend to this issue in the interest of our members. Today’s demonstration was merely a warning shot should the employer fail in meeting our demands," the union said.

"In the interests of ensuring continued and uninterrupted water services to residents served by Rand Water, we remain open to further engagements with the employer."

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