The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) will be embarking on a protected strike action at Rand Water from the 13th May 2021.
Rand Water, a bulk water utility entity which is responsible for bulk water provision to municipalities and industries in Gauteng, North West, Free State and Mpumalanga provinces has since been informed as required by law that workers will be downing tools indefinitely from the 13th May 2021.
This strike action is a continuation of the one we held a few days ago which unfortunately we had to postpone to allow for processes at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to unfold as directed by the Labour Court on the 21st April 2021.
Despite the Labour Court having ruled and ordered Rand Water to withdraw a circular issued to workers informing them that they would no longer be receiving incentive bonuses, the employer has failed to do so. Seven days after the ruling of the Labour Court, the matter was head in the CCMA wherein a certificate of non-resolution was issued; this essentially is workers’ license to go on strike.
Following the issuance of the strike certificate, the employer called SAMWU leadership to a meeting wherein they tried to massage us to not going on a full-blown strike. We have since reported back the outcomes of the meeting and the rulings of the Labour Court and the CCMA to our workers at Rand Water.
Workers have therefore resolved that since the employer is not willing to ensure that they rescind the circular as directed by the Labour Court nor discuss this matter in the best interest of residents and workers, the only option is to go to the streets.
Rand Water has essentially pushed workers to the streets through their arrogance and changing the conditions of service of workers without any consultation.
This has been one of the most painful decisions that we have had to take as workers because we know the impact that this will have on residents. It is however important to note that before we are employees of Rand Water, we are community members and as such, we too want clean water running in our homes.
The arrogance of Rand Water has however pushed workers to take this painful decision. As workers will be embarking on this strike action, we cannot guarantee running water to residents and industries in Gauteng, North West, Free State and Mpumalanga provinces what we can all do is pray for rain as that will be the only guaranteed source of water during the strike action.
We therefore urge our members and workers at Rand Water to prepare themselves to fight against the unilateral change of their conditions of employment. Boardrooms have proven to not be the right platform to fight this battle, our sneakers are ready, to the streets we go!
Issued by SAMWU Gauteng Province
Bafana Zungu, Provincial Secretary (079 298 5577), Mamorena Madisha, Deputy Provincial Secretary (083 539 5494) or Rhau Mphahlele (Regional Secretary (067 888 8366)