Samwu concerned that 525 CT firefighters in firing line over 2019 strike

Samwu said that over 500 firefighters could face dismissal by the City of Cape Town. The union's Archie Hearne said that following a court ruling on the matter, the municipality had moved this year to institute disciplinary action.

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

CAPE TOWN - The South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) said that it was concerned that 525 firefighters could be fired over an unlawful strike in 2019.

City of Cape Town firefighters embarked on a strike more than a year ago over long working hours and the municipality's pay structure.

After heading to court on this matter, it was ruled in 2020 that the current shift and allowance system were valid and binding until a new collective agreement was determined.

Samwu said that over 500 firefighters could face dismissal by the City of Cape Town.

The union's Archie Hearne said that following the court ruling, the municipality had moved this year to institute disciplinary action.

"Last year in December, they approached the city with a new proposal because that's what the judge said. The judge also ruled that these employees were locked into this agreement because the agreement says that the employees can only elect to opt out of the agreement once a new agreement is negotiated."

Hearne said that the city did not seem to have an appetite to negotiate a new agreement.

"They are content and satisfied with the old agreement, now we have huge problems. We are concerned that the city's stance to discipline employees at this late stage doesn't bode well are create a conducive environment."

Meanwhile, the city has confirmed that a disciplinary process was currently under way relating to events in 2019, when some firefighters affiliated to Samwu refused to work their contractual hours in terms of a shift agreement.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.