The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) has warned of a shutdown in Johannesburg‚ saying city officials have failed to address the union’s grievances.
The union held a mass regional meeting on Thursday afternoon at the library gardens in the Johannesburg CBD.
It had intended to deliver a memorandum of demands to the office of the mayor‚ but no one from the mayoral office attended.
Workers want better working conditions before the reintegration of municipal-owned entities‚ the adherence to labour laws and the absorption of all municipality contract workers.
"The municipality must listen to workers and the grievances must be addressed‚ it’s long overdue‚" said Samwu regional secretary Bafana Zungu.
"The frustration is that the employees feel neglected. Our last resort will be to roll out a regional mass action as soon as next month. The municipality leadership did not show up. It’s in bad faith‚ this shows they are not committed to solving issues of the workers.
"We will not render any services since the employer is anti-production."
Zungu said the workers were from various entities, including Johannesburg Water‚ City Power‚ the Johannesburg Roads Agency‚ Johannesburg City Parks‚ Pikitup‚ Rea Vaya and Metrobus.
The South African Communist Party (SACP) rallied behind the union.
"We worry when worker organisations are attacked. SACP will be behind you‚ you can count on us‚" said the party’s Geneva Fourie.
"Samwu is alive. This is the beginning of greater things in the city. [Johannesburg mayor] Herman Mashaba must start realising that there are no workers without Samwu and must begin to take us serious‚" said Samwu deputy provincial secretary Priscilla Ntsuba.