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Message-ID: <01bf0f35$fa00c120$559d22c4@anna>
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 14:31:49 +0100
Reply-To: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YorkU.CA>
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YorkU.CA>
From: Anna Weekes <samwu@WN.APC.ORG>
Subject: SAMWU Press Statement: Union declares deadlock with Johannesburg Council over Igoli 2002!
Comments: To: Undisclosed.Recipients@wn.apc.org

Union declares deadlock with Johannesburg Council over Igoli 2002!

SAMWU Press Statement
5 October 1999

The South African Municipal Workers' Union was forced to declare a dispute with the Greater Johannesburg Council this morning after months of negotiations around the Igoli 2002 restructuring plan failed.

The dispute, which was lodged in the Greater Johannesburg division of the South African Local Government Bargaining Council, means that unions and council management will now have to enter into a conciliation process to see if the deadlock can be broken. Failing resolution of the dispute, the union's 25 thousand Johannesburg members will either embark on industrial action or the union will take the matter up in arbitration.

The Framework Agreement for the Restructuring of Municipal Services signed between COSATU and the S.A. Local Government Association last December was ratified in the Central Chamber of the Bargaining Council earlier this month. This means that all municipalities without exception must abide by the Framework Agreement as a document that their employer representatives have legally bound them to. The Igoli 2002 plan falls completely outside of the Framework Agreement, which stipulates that before any service can enter into a partnership with the private sector, all public alternatives must have been exhausted. The Agreement also says that mass consultation with unions and communities must take place and that cost-benefit analyses, integrated development plans and principles for service delivery must be agreed upon before restructuring can begin.

SAMWU has been angered that the employer has drawn the union into numerous empty bargaining council meetings under the pretence of negotiations, whilst their elite "Transformation Lekgotla" has secretly proceeded with implementing Igoli 2002 at the very same time. The Lekgotla has ignored every alternative proposal that the union has put forward. SAMWU demanded this morning that parts of Igoli 2002 that are already being implemented be immediately halted whilst real negotiations take place.

SAMWU's view that the Igoli 2002 plan is the work of a group of highly paid consultants, the City Manager's office and an elite group of top councillors who have usurped powers from elected leaders was vindicated in this weekend's Sunday World newspaper by ANC Councillor Trevor Ngwane. Councillor Ngwane wrote that councillors had not been consulted on the plan. The union is urging all other councillors who have approached SAMWU in the past months with the same complaint to break the culture of intimidation that they are suffering from, and voice their opposition openly along with other stakeholders.

Recent months have also seen wide opposition to the plan by the South African Communist Party, the National Civics Organisation, and the recent COSATU Central Executive Committee meeting which said that it could declare a Section 77 notice in NEDLAC over Igoli 2002. Last week Braamfontein's hawkers joined the opposition after the Igoli 2002 plan saw them being unceremonially booted off the street amidst council accusations that they were a major cause of tourists and citizens staying away from the city centre.


For more information please contact the SAMWU President, Petrus Mashishi on 011 3331582 or 082 975 4470; or the Collective Bargaining Officer, Dale Forbes on 083 651 2959.

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