Govt workers won't strike during Cup
Pretoria - There will be no strikes by public servants during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, a labour negotiator said on Thursday.
Mugwena Maluleka said even though a dispute has been declared with the department of public services, workers will refrain from strike action for 30 days.
"If we go on a strike, it will be after 30 days and the World Cup would be over by then," he said.
Both the National Education, Health And Allied Workers Union and the Public Service Association signed agreements with government on Thursday, committing themselves to "no labour unrest" for the duration of the soccer spectacle.
Talks with the department reached a deadlock after labour unions adjusted their demands from 11% general salary increases to 8.6% and R1 000 for a monthly housing allowance.
The department was offering a 6.5% increase and a maximum of R620 on housing allowances.
Maluleka said the workers had tried to "meet the employer halfway".
The unions committed themselves to an "agreeable solution within the 30-day period."
Randall Howard, special adviser to the minister of public works, said they were confident there would be no disruptions while all parties tried to find a positive solution.
The decision to declare a dispute was taken on Wednesday night.
Earlier, Maluleke, who is also a teachers' union general secretary, said the ministry was employing stalling tactics during wage negotiations.
The ministry denied this, saying it was negotiating in good faith since talks started on May 20.
"There is no stalling tactic... The suggestion that we strung them along, we don't take kindly to that," Howard said.
He said it was "regrettable" that the Cosatu-affiliated unions, representing 1.3 million workers, had chosen to declare a dispute, notwithstanding the request for more time to seek a revised mandate.
"We are committed to finding an amicable solution. We ask for a chance to meet with our principals... and then we need to get mandate from them."
Both parties have agreed to process all medical aid-related issues into a joint task team process, with agreed terms of reference and time frames.
Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said the fact that there will not be any strikes by public servants during the World Cup goes a long way towards creating a positive climate for hosting a successful event.
Now this is a perfect opertunity to show the workforce that an agreement can be met without resorting to astrike action. But this of course would rely on government pushing to get the issue resolved before the 30days have lapsed. I aint holding my breath though.
we support the world cup and the employer must not play with workers demands,more expecialy when comming to housing allouwance that made by our unions of R1650.00 because houses are very expensive.
Isn’t SA amazing? The most overpaid employees in the world, judged by job efficiency, are endeavouring to strike, conditionally nogal. For what, to beat their own record?