Mpumalanga general workers down tools

The workers want parity with counterparts at the former Umjindi Municipality, who, they say, are earning higher salaries.(Filed Image )

SABC News / Tuesday 1 August 2017 17:02 / Motsebi wa Monareng

General workers at the City of Mbombela in Mpumalanga have downed tools, embarking on an unprotected protest action demanding salary increments.

The workers blockaded the entrance into the municipal offices with the rubbish bin collection trucks.

The workers want parity with counterparts at the former Umjindi Municipality, who they say, are earning higher salaries.

It’s almost a year now since the City of Mbombela Municipality is in operation following the amalgamation of the former Mbombela and Umjindi local municipalities.

The merging of the two municipalities is alleged to have created challenges ranging from placement of senior managers to general workers.

The city of Mbombela is currently engaged in processing placements to fill the vacant posts.

The workers say they are tired of waiting hence they downed tools demanding answers from management. After numerous requests to meet the acting municipal manager workers decided to go to the streets throwing rubbish in the CBD.

The workers shop steward, Nozipho Mahlalela, says management has not shown any interest in the matter.

“The problem is that they want the placement to be finished and they must earn correctly what Mjindi is getting and the workers of Mbombela they want that , but today he promised to come let him come and speak to the workers- this is the language they understand I know that the municipality will come and address the workers.”

City of Mbombela Spokesperson Joseph Ngala says there are on-going engagements between the management and the workers union to find solutions to the issues raised by the workers.

Ngala, however, has condemned the disruption of access to the municipality’s services by the workers.

“Before the amalgamation the former Mbombela local municipality was a grade five municipality is not true that they earning less than the former Umjindi and in fact that matter is still being processed as the acting municipal manager indicated in the previous meeting is unfortunately that people would just go on rampage like they have done and is unacceptable that we are engaging and people will resort to other actions.”

Ngala says the municipality will enforce its policies- as the workers embarked on an unprotected strike.

“We got the code of conduct for employees we got disciplinary process internal disciplinary process and those are the matter will have and those are the matters will have to pursue because what we see here they inconvenienced rate payers who are coming here to pay for services- they inconvenience everybody, which is total unacceptable.”

The City of Mbombela says it will also review its CCTV cameras to check what impact the unprotected strike has caused before taking action on the culprits.