SAMWU fed up with City of Cape Town’s continued disregard of collective bargaining

21 July 2020

SAMWU fed up with City of Cape Town’s continued disregard of collective bargaining

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) is disgusted by the manner in which the City of Cape Town (City) has been mistreating law enforcement officers and using them as scapegoats, over and above the continuous cover up of misconduct reported by law enforcers against law enforcement managers.

Communities might not easily distinguish the different types of law enforcement officers and the different functions they have to carry out within the City, however we have witnessed and seen how the City has easily thrown law enforcement officers under the bus when their instructions go wrong on the ground. Our Law Enforcers operate under strict instructions and if those instructions are not carried out, they fear that they will loose their jobs.

SAMWU has challenged the City numerous times about the ill treatment of our members and constant threats of job losses. The Safety and Security Directorate continues to be arrogant and undermining of workers rights. Law enforcers have reached a point where they have had enough of this abuse by the City.

Our members at Transport Enforcement Unit (TEU) in Atlantis were forced with restructuring where they were transferred from Law Enforcement to Traffic by the City. This gross unilateral change is not only unlawful but it seeks to undermine organizational rights spelt out in the Main Collective Agreement of which the City is party to.

2018 the law enforcers lodged a collective grievance against their supervisor who is a Regional Inspector for unfair discrimination, unfair labour practice and failure to comply with occupational health safety. This matter was never resolved to date.

In 2019, another grievance was lodged against another Inspector for victimisation and unfair labour practice where work schedules on the SAP systems were unilaterally changed without consulting Labour, again this matter is not yet resolved.

Law enforcement officers again reported corruption allegations against two of the Inspectors, for the misuse of council vehicles. The matter was raised by the SAMWU and at the Departmental Labour Forum (DLC) which is one of the platforms to be used to attempt to try and resolve matters at its lowers level. It was agreed in that meeting that the Chief should arrange consultation with both trade unions and the affected members to amicably ironed out the matter, that never materialized. It again proves our point that the City have used this platform for lip service and to prolong matters with the hope unions will forget.

In one unit, we have two law enforcement officers contracts of employment terminated and four other’s whose case is pending due to line management changing work schedule on SAP without properly consulting members. These cases the union is not taking it lightly, we are fighting for these members.

To also point out the unequal application of the disciplinary code in the City, there is an Inspector who was caught in another delinquency of Tobacco dealings in Atlantis. They were never dismissed for this gross offense however if it was an ordinary law enforcement officer, they would have been dismissed by the City.

Every time the union engage with the City on allegations of misconduct by Inspectors or Chiefs within the Safety and Security Directorate, it’s either the City turns a blind eye, prolong processes or not even entertain what’s reported to them. Management within Safety and Security protects each other, there is absolutely no accountability whatsoever. Workers in that Directorate have had enough and their moral is very low.

SAMWU demands that the City comply with the Main Collective Agreement, apply the Disciplinary Code Agreement consistently throughout the City. These documents are also applicable and must be upheld by City managers as well. We demand that all pending reported cases of misconduct by management be concluded and finalized. The City to stop making law enforcement officers their scapegoats and own up their actions and instructions that’s gone wrong.

Issued by SAMWU Cape Metro

Mikel Khumalo
Regional Secretary
083 265 1519