It’s a Total Shutdown of Services

by Aug 20, 2010All Articles

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By Francis Hweshe

20 August 2010

A total shutdown of public services is expected today in Western Cape when more than 150000 workers join the strike.

Their counterparts across the country have already been on strike since Wednesday.

Public service workers are demanding a salary increase of 8,6percent and a R1000 monthly housing subsidy.

Schools, hospitals, courts and Home Affairs offices are among the several public facilities that are expected to be closed today as unions gear up for a mass march next Wednesday.

Cosatu’s Tony Ehrenreich, who urged the government to “come to its senses”, said only “life and death” services will be maintained at a minimum level to avoid loss of lives.

“No public servant will be working tomorrow (today), all the (government) departments will be shut down.”

Ehrenreich said the workers would be picketing at strategic public areas across the city.

At a media briefing at Cosatu’s offices in Salt River all the public sector unions in the province committed to a protracted strike “until the state comes to its senses”.

The unions are miffed by the government’s recent final wage offer of 7percent and R630 for housing allowance.

South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) provincial chairperson Bongani ka Mcoyana said they were concerned about the effect of the strike on pupils.

“The schooling system is completely affected. The government is refusing to provide education by refusing to pay us,” said Mcoyana.

He said teachers were prepared to return to schools once their demands were met.

Mncedisi Mbolekwa, provincial general secretary for the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru), said police officers would be picketing at their stations today. He urged fellow officers on duty not to harass fellow workers who are on strike.

Source: Sowetan

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