Home Affairs strike called off

FOLLOWING interventions by both Home Affairs (DoH) and Public Service and Administration ministers, the nationwide Home Affairs strike due to start today (Monday) has been called off.

An agreement was reached late Thursday night between the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) and DoH to retract circular number two of 2015, in which Home Affairs front desk workers were ordered to work on Saturdays without pay.

‘This agreement came after a marathon of failed negotiations between the union and the department’s management, up until the intervention meeting held at the Public Service Sectoral Bargaining Council (PSCBC),’ said NEHAWU in a statement on Friday.

The union’s General Secretary, Bereng Soke, said the organisation had tried since the new working hours were imposed to persuade DoH to withdraw the circular which ‘introduced unilaterally the new working hours, hence the dispute’.

ALSO READ: Nationwide Home Affairs strike could shut down Zululand offices

‘The signed agreement confirms the withdrawal of the circular and that workers will revert to the applicable working conditions prior to the introduction of the new working hours imposed by the Director General (Mkhuseli Apleni).’

He said according to the agreement‚ ‘an understanding and a directive was reached that the department must table in the bargaining chamber a proposal on the new working arrangements for negotiations with labour’.

King Cetshwayo District Manager for Operations, Sikhosiphi Dlamini, welcomed the reversal of the strike, but warned of potential disruptions today (Monday).

‘While we received indications that the nationwide strike has been called off, we may experience some disruption on Monday because workers left work on Thursday expecting to be on strike this week,’ he said.

‘However, we are confident that work will return to normal at least by tomorrow (Tuesday).’

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  AUTHOR
Tamlyn Jolly
Journalist

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