Wheels of justice finally turn for council workers axed in 1994
The City of Johannesburg has reached an agreement with 280 workers who were dismissed 23 years ago by the then Midrand council.
Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba concluded the agreement with the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) led by its general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.
More than 500 municipal workers went on strike in 1994 in protest against corruption and nepotism within the Midrand council. They were dismissed and left penniless and most of them were denied their pension entitlements.
"The city will ensure that these workers are considered for existing and new vacancies and will be appointed where possible into permanent positions over the next six months … the Johannesburg Metropolitan Council and Saftu further agreed that the City will work tirelessly to investigate what became of these workers’ pension funds‚" Mashaba’s office said on Thursday.
Saftu was elated with the decision of the city.
"It is also a victory for all workers‚ as it has set an important precedent. These workers are setting a precedent and a fine example for all those workers who have been unfairly retrenched," the federation said.
"They have proved that resistance is not futile‚ and that victory is still possible‚ however great the hardships they and their families have suffered‚ the loss of some of their comrades and the repeated refusal of previous council leaders to take up their case."