SAMWU Leaders Must Stop Manipulating the Frustrations of Workers for Factional Battle

ActionSA Gauteng is extremely concerned about the ongoing violent, illegal and unprotected strike action by the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) which is placing the lives and livelihood of workers and residents in danger.

Recently, over the past weekend, it is alleged that SAMWU strikers were behind the shooting of municipal employees responding to a call-out in Montana. It is also reported that about 93 employees have been dismissed by the City. These are by all likelihood breadwinners and SAMWU leadership should be held directly responsible for their dismissals.

ActionSA is reliably informed that SAMWU members have accused some of their leaders of selling-out workers in pursuit of their self-interest. Some of these SAMWU leaders are accused of accepting promotions to senior positions. There is a voice recording doing the rounds supporting these allegations. These are some of the frustrations of the workers that are now being exploited for factional battles in the union and now negatively affecting service delivery and even more painfully, costing employees their jobs.

ActionSA is also concerned having noticed that some shop stewards from the City of Joburg were part of the unprotected strike and have been quoted threatening to render City of Tshwane “ungovernable”.

As such ActionSA will write to the City Manager of Joburg to explain to us why the City of Joburg Labour Relations Department approved the “time off” for Joburg SAMWU Shopsteward to attend the march that turned into an illegal strike. We believe that such an approval certainly goes against the main collective agreement.

It is unheard of that the employer can approve “time off” for shop stewards from one municipality to a march in another municipality unless that union is participating in a protected strike and then at a later stage when that union deemed it fit to extend invite/mobilize other sister unions for support and even in that scenario the said union will still have to follow due processes of applying for a secondary strike.

Following the response that we will receive from the City of Johannesburg City Manager, ActionSA will consider its options, including the option of reporting SAMWU to the Department of Labour.

ActionSA will not tolerate the genuine frustrations of workers being used by compromised ANC-aligned SAMWU leaders that also want to politically sabotage the Tshwane Administration.