Nehawu members protest over safety & working conditions at Parliament

Parliament protection services and catering staff have been ordered back to work, but Nehawu members want written guarantees of their safety.

FILE: Firefighters on the scene of a fire at Parliament on 2 January 2022. Picture: Saya Pierce-Jones/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The devastating fire in Parliament has now become a labour issue as scores of Nehawu members protested over their safety and working conditions.

The group of employees gathered on Monday outside the gates of Parliament.

Parliament protection services and catering staff have been ordered back to work, but Nehawu members want written guarantees of their safety.

On Friday, Parliament's management assured MPs that it had developed and signed off on governance documents and is currently implementing an action plan to ensure the precinct is compliant with safety regulations.

However, Parliament's Nehawu branch secretary Temba Gubula said their members would not be reporting for duty until the union received a written safety guarantee.

"We came here today to show the employer that we are not lazy to work, we are here to work, but the employer has an obligation to come and assure workers that it is safe for them to come back inside and none of that has happened."

Parliament said the development of safe work procedures were in progress and health and safety awareness training for staff had been conducted.

Parliament also confirmed a fire drill was done with the NCOP before the COVID-19 outbreak.