23 May 2023
SAMWU CLARITY ON POSTPONED GEORGE MUNICIPALITY STRIKE ACTION
The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) has learnt with disgust lies being peddled by the George Local Municipality in relation to the Union’s protected strike action that was to commence on 24 May 2023. The municipal management has been all over the show claiming that the Labour Court has interdicted the strike action. What the management fails to publicly acknowledge is that the decision by the Union to postpone the strike to 1 June 2023 was an agreement between ourselves and the municipality to allow the court to make a final determination on the matter.
To us, it is clear that this municipality’s non-existent victory which they are celebrating is an attempt to pre-empt the outcomes of the pending court proceedings. We know for sure that management is panicking, hence they rushed to the courts to try and strip workers of their constitutional right, a right to strike. Management knows that the Union has followed all the legal processes involved before embarking on a strike action and as such they know that no logical Judge will deny workers their rights as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic.
As SAMWU, we take this opportunity to reassure our members that as soon as the attempt to strip workers of their rights by the employer is struck off the roll by the courts, we will be embarking on the strike action. Management has literally shown workers the middle finger by refusing to conclude on the matters in dispute in the boardroom. We will therefore, as workers be concluding these matters on the streets as we have been invited by management to do so through their inaction.
The decision by management to seek an interdict against the strike is not a blow to our course of action, in fact, if anything, management has allowed us an opportunity to prepare better for the battle that is to come. As parties, we will be returning to the Labour Court on the 1st of June to give reasons why the rule nisi issued today should not be made an order of the court. We have full confidence in our legal team and the country’s judiciary.
When the Court pronounces on the matter, we will as a Union be demanding that the costs of this application should be paid personally by the Municipal Manager, Dr Gratz who has turned the municipality into a piggy bank for legal battles and personal battles. Dr Gratz must be personally held accountable for the wasteful and fruitless expenditure of Council resources.
As a law-abiding organisation, we are therefore calling on all our members to allow the court proceedings to conclude and reconvene for our strike action after a judgement has been made by the court. In the meantime, workers should report for duty as per their normal working hours while warming up for the upcoming strike action. Our sneakers are indeed ready!
Issued by SAMWU Western Cape
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