Nehawu warns that planned strike at Sars will affect services

Nehawu said that it was at an advanced stage of preparations for the wage strike, which officially kicks off next Wednesday.

 Picture: sars.gov.za

JOHANNESBURG - The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) said that it could not say with certainty how long its planned strike would last at the South African Revenue Service (Sars) but it has warned that services will be seriously affected.

Nehawu said that it was at an advanced stage of preparations for the wage strike, which officially kicks off next Wednesday.

The union said that it had received a mandate from its aggrieved members at Sars to demonstrate following a deadlock in wage talks after the employer tabled a zero percent increase offer against the union’s demand for 12% across the board.

Nehawu said that it would not back down on its demands, saying that workers were prepared to send a clear message to any employer that they should not be taken for granted.

The union’s secretary-general, Zola Saphetha, said that without workers, Sars would not have achieved the more than R1.2 trillion revenue collection.

"Yet the institution does not value nor appreciate the contributions made by these workers in making Sars a functioning institution," he said.

Meanwhile, Nehawu’s president, Mike Shingange, said that with other labour unions on board, the impact of the strike was bound to be felt.

"For the first time in a long time all the workers, all the unions are going to be embarking on this strike simultaneously in all the same points because at this point in time, it's important to understand that the challenge that workers face are the same, irrespective of the union they belong to," he said.

Workers are expected to march to Sars offices in the Western Cape and Gauteng as well as to Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry next week.