Opposition split over House muscle
OPPOSITION parties have welcomed the Labour Court challenge brought by 69 protection officers against Parliament.
While the DA feared the court action might escalate to an industrial action when President Jacob Zuma delivers his State of the Nation Address next month, the UDM wanted the court to rule in favour of the officers.
Parliament has in the past been hauled before courts, which ruled against it, and last year it was embroiled in a prolonged battle with the workers, aligned to the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union.
City Press reported at the weekend that protection officers took Parliament to the Labour Court for unfair discrimination. This comes nearly two years after Parliament hurriedly hired officers from the SAPS as “chamber support officers” to forcefully remove disruptive MPs.
The officers want the court to order Parliament to remunerate them and provide them with the same terms and conditions of employment as their counterparts, known as bouncers.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa questioned the need for the bouncers, saying they were brought in to manhandle MPs. DA deputy chief whip Mike Waters said the court action was an indictment of Parliament. “We don’t want more industrial action when the president talks to the nation,” he said.
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said: “We are opposed to the idea that they be integrated in the rules.”
HEAVY-HANDED: EFF MPs clash with security officials after being ordered out of Parliament during President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address in February 2015.