Strikers disrupt traffic
By Nangamso Mabindla
8 August 2005
DAILY routine was disrupted for the residents of Buffalo City today as the municipal workers' strike brought traffic to a standstill.
More than 1 500 members of the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) marched down Oxford Street to the East London City Hall to hand over a memorandum to South African Local Government Association (Salga) representatives.
The strike, the third in a series by Samwu, follows a deadlock in wage negotiations between it and Salga. The unions are demanding an 8 percent increase, or R350, whichever is the greater, while Salga has unilaterally implemented a 6 percent rise.
The memorandum was handed over to Councillor Mhleli Matika and Salga's director in the Eastern Cape, Chris Maqongqwana.
After signing it, Maqongqwana said it would be forwarded to the association's executive. "We have received this memorandum and will discuss it with the Salga executive. This is a serious issue and the executive will attend to it."
Essential services staff, like ambulances, law enforcement and fire and disaster management units, continued working, despite the strike.