Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 12:51:57 +0100
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YorkU.CA>
From: Anna Weekes <samwu@WN.APC.ORG>
Subject: SAMWU Statement: IGOLI 2002 Dispute - Conciliation stalls this
IGOLI 2002 Dispute - Conciliation stalls this morning!
28 October 1999
Conciliation of the dispute between the South African Municipal Workers
Union (SAMWU), the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU) and
the Greater Johannesburg Metro Council stalled this morning in the
Divisional Bargaining Council.
SAMWU's Johannesburg Branch Secretary Hlubi Biyana said that the Council
began by questioning the grounds of the dispute leading to the conciliation.
Council agreed to put their questions in writing to SAMWU by tomorrow.
The dispute was declared almost one month ago on the grounds that the Igoli
2002 amounted to unilateral restructuring without consultation and that
council was implementing the plan while still it was still under
However, progress was made when labour and Council agreed on two people as
independent mediators. It was agreed that mediation would start in 14 days
Earlier this week about 16 thousand people from SAMWU, the Independent
Municipal and Allied Trade Union (IMATU), COSATU, the SACP, the SA National
Civics Organisation and the Gauteng Hawkers Association marched from Library
Gardens to the Civic Centre in a protest against the Council's unilateral
implementation of Igoli 2002.
The march was also led by Pimville Ward Councillor, Trevor Ngwane, who was
suspended from three top positions in the ANC and subjected to a
disciplinary hearing last Sunday after telling a newspaper that Councillors
had not been consulted on the Igoli 2002 plan.
Although Johannesburg's Exco Chairperson, Kenny Fihla, said that the march
was badly attended by ignorant SAMWU members, some press reports estimated
that as many as 20 thousand people turned out for the march. Fihla had said
that Council would respond to the memorandum handed over at the march today.
But at today's talks, Council said they were unable to do this until
SAMWU's Great Johannesburg Branch Secretary Hlubi Biyana said that SAMWU
asked Council this morning to enter into discussions on emergency,
short-term measures to combat the problems facing Johannesburg but this was
rejected by council. "Council told us that any such discussions would have
to link with the mediation process." The Greater Joburg Council has rejected
all of SAMWU's proposals for short term relief made over past months.
A demand by SAMWU for a moratorium on privatisation while the dispute
continued was also not agreed to by Council. "If Council is going to
continue implementing the plan even while it is under dispute, it will not
create a conducive climate for conciliation," said Biyana.
For comment - Gauteng Provincial Secretary Silas Letsimo or Organiser Rob
Rees on 011 3311032
or Hlubi Biyana on 083 3594224.