The South African Municipal Workers’s Union (SAMWU) is disappointed at yet another deliberate attack on collective bargaining and workers in general by the Democratic Alliance (DA).
According to Samwu, the DA has made its plans known of withdrawing from the South African Local Government Association (SALGA). Samwu views this plan by the DA as a deliberate attempt to collapse SALGA which relieves heavily on the levy paid by municipalities who are party to the association.
According to Samwu’s General Secretary Simon Mathe, currently all the country’s 278 municipalities are members of this association whose mandate is derived from the country’s constitution which defines SALGA as the voice and sole representative of local government.
“The claims by the DA are nothing but politicking which will ultimately compromise the stability in the sector and service delivery. We also view this plans as a direct attack on collective bargaining as the withdrawal would automatically mean that DA-led municipalities would no longer be party to the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) wherein all salary and wage negotiations in this sector are done centrally through this bargaining council,” explains Mathe.
“We are convinced that the DA wants to divide workers. This plan will mean that workers in DA led municipalities would have no one to represent them in the bargaining council and as such will not be covered by the main collective agreement signed by parties in the bargaining council. We believe that there are ulterior motives behind this move, which includes the DA-led municipalities forming their own bargaining council with the aim of crippling the sector and giving workers as little increases as possible come salary and wage negotiations time.”
“We know the DA to be a party that is anti-workers and pro-capital. We believe that this plan also seek to allow them to retrench workers in municipalities which they govern and also fire workers as and when they want to. This is also a plan to reverse transformation in the sector, after all the DA remains an enemy of the working class and transformation.”
Mathe says they are not surprised that the alleged offensive against collective bargaining is led by Herman Mashaba who during his time at the Free Market Foundation tried on so many occasions to collapse collective bargaining in the country.
“Workers will not stand and fold their arms when capitalists are attacking them directly and wanting to reverse the gains that have been made in the country. We therefore warn the Democratic Alliance to think thoroughly before taking decisions that will put workers’ jobs at risk as this will not be accepted by the working class. We also believe that this would be a testing time for the DA’s collision partners. Should they too agree or be party to this attack on collective bargaining, they would have exposed themselves to be anti-working class.”
Statement Issued by the Head of Office of the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU)