The South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) has postponed its strike at Rand Water pending a dispute resolution.

THE South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) has postponed its strike action at Rand Water to allow the Commission for Conciliation and Arbitration to arbitrate in the legal matter between the worker and the employer.

The decision to postpone the strike comes after the Labour Court on Wednesday dismissed an interdict by Rand Water against SAMWU calling the picket illegal and unlawful.

The judge at the Labour Court lambasted Rand Water for failing to meet with the union to solve this issue as a matter of urgency.

The judge further urged parties to meet and come up with a settlement agreement.

Workers downed tools on Wednesday over working conditions, including withdrawing incentive bonuses that workers had been receiving for the last 17 years.

“As per the settlement agreement which had become an order of the court, the employer has agreed to withdraw the memorandum which unilaterally changed the conditions of workers,” said SAMWU.

“As a union, we have as a sign of good faith also postponed our strike until the 28th April 2021. Our postponement of the strike is to allow the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) arbitrate on the matter set down for the 28th.”

“We remain optimistic that the CCMA will rule in favour of the union. As SAMWU, we want the employer to immediately attend to this issue in the interest of our members. Today’s demonstration was merely a warning shot should the employer fail in meeting our demands.”

SAMWU said if the employer fails to agree to the demands of workers, it unfortunately cannot guarantee that residents and industries that are served by Rand Water in Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West will have running water.

“All we can do is pray and hope for rain as that will be the only source of water that will be available in those areas. We lastly thank our members for coming out in their numbers to defend their conditions of service,” said SAMWU.  

“We further urge them to be prepared and combat ready especially as we approach salary and wage negotiations in the Amanzi Bargaining Council which Rand Water is party to.”

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