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Message-ID: <01bf213a$d6fba8e0$a69d22c4@anna>
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 morning!

IGOLI 2002 Dispute - Conciliation stalls this morning!

SAMWU Statement
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 negotiation.

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 time.

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 tomorrow.

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.

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